CHENNAI: There are two ways of looking at this pandemic. One, is to be cautious and survive by staying indoors and staying clean. The second, to use this opportunity and add to one’s skill set. And helping us achieve that is B Krishnakumar, artistic director at The Little Theatre, with an Acting Bootcamp, by offering an online course to sharpen improvisation techniques, subtext, character development and monologuing skills. The camp is for amateur actors who are looking for techniques to sharpen their skills.
“We just got done with a 10-day workshop for children and we have already conducted two masterclasses for adults. We had received an encouraging response from all our participants,” says Krishnakumar. This was how the idea of the five-day Acting Bootcamp was conceived. “All our work at Little Theatre involves breaking the fourth screen. We interact with our audience. That is where improvisation techniques play an important role. We will be teaching participants to learn how to improvise through scenes,” he says. Speaking of the main skills the course will focus on, he emphasises on the importance of learning about subtext.
“Text is the lines written in the script, the subtext is the same lines as they run through your head while reading the script. The subtext is an extremely important tool for an actor. Whether you are giving an audition or doing a monologue, subtext plays a major role in developing the character,” he says. Although acting is an art that is mostly learnt through physical presence, the lockdown has brought its own obstacles that the online Acting Bootcamp hopes to overcome.
“Theatre is a very intimate artform where you work with each other and share energies. That is how it has worked for me through all my years of experience. But, it is important to understand that during this pandemic, we cannot allow our artforms to suffer. I recognised it as an absolute need to evolve at this time,” says Krishnakumar as he explains the challenges he faced while taking classes online. “Keeping children engaged from this side of the screen is a task. That’s why our sessions for children involve 70 per cent of practical application and only 30 per cent of listening,” he shares. Acting Bootcamp will be held between June 25 and June 30 (except Sundays) on Zoom.
Register before June 20 at https://forms. gle/ajf9soXQ73DVbrvM9. For details, call: 9840556200