BENGALURU: The city may have already started relishing Unlock 1.0 but things have not changed much for theatre enthusiasts. With no avenues for offline programmes, Bengaluru-based theatre group Indian Ensemble is now carrying out their yearly theatre training programme online. This is the second edition of the education programme, which is titled First Draft: An Idea Development Lab by Indian Ensemble.
“This is the first time we are going online and it’s the need of the hour too. It’s a huge step for us. Theatre is all about the expressing and being in the moment and it helps if you are teaching in person. We are also trying to figure out new ways to adapt to changing times,” says Chanakya Vyas, artistic director of the company, which has carried out various training programmes in the past.
Vyas adds that going online has worked in their favour since many theatre enthusiasts from outside Bengaluru too have taken interest in the programme. “We are getting queries from people in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc. This wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t go online,” says Vyas, who has been part of the theatre group since 2015. Started in 2009, the group has performed several shows in India and abroad, apart from producing over a dozen plays in the last 10 years.
The last day to send in applications is June 25 but only a few students will be handpicked for the programme. “To apply, people have to submit their play ideas first. We will select the students on the genesis of the idea. The programme may not apply for someone who is already at an advanced stage,” explains Vyas, adding that applicants must have some experience in the theatre space to get the context of the course.
The six-month long programme will introduce students to the research that goes behind a play, while also involving collaboration with directors and presentations to propose an idea. “Last year, we had 6-7 guest lectures. But after a good response this year, we are doubling it to 13-15 guest lectures, which will take them through the practical side of writing a play,” explains Vyas, who adds, “We had stopped rehearsals due to the lockdown but will soon release audio stories till our stage performances resume.”