THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: American actor, producer and director John Malkovich in his message on World Theatre Day-2012 said: ‘’May your work be compelling and original. May it be profound, touching, contemplative and unique. May it help us to reflect on the question of what it means to be human, and may that reflection be blessed with heart, sincerity, candor and grace.’’
And so it was at the theatre workshop organised by Art Faktory at Vellayambalam here on Tuesday. As many as 15 aspiring thespians and as many viewers were present for the workshop led by Shijinath, Bilas Nair and Krishnan Balakrishnan. The metamorphosis of the participants from their stiff and silent selves to vibrant actors, with a myriad of emotions playing across their faces, took only a couple of hours.
What got them going was the contemporary topic given to them for a performance - the incident of Italian sailors shooting Indian fishermen in deep sea.
While one group decided to act out the actual incident depicting both the Italians and Indians simultaneously, a second group decided to give it a twist with a dead fisherman’s son coming to hear of the news on television. Arshad, a student of hotel management, who played out the role of the fisherman’s son, stood out with his convincing performance of the change-over from a stubborn difficult person to one suddenly facing a major crisis in life.
His mates, Shiyas from Kollam and Shibu from Kattakkada, also ably supported in that short skit, developed and improvised on the spot. Shibu had come just to watch the workshop, but got so interested in it that he decided to try his hand at acting as well. ‘’We are happy that so many people came forward to this workshop on the World Theatre Day. A couple of workshops more will see them all maturing into good artists,’’ said camp director Krishnan Balakrishnan.
While the first group’s performance seemed more structured and according to plan, there were two opinions about their dialogue delivery. The dialogues of the Italian mariners and that of the Indian fishermen overlapped, resulting in distraction for the audience. But there were also some who thought of it as innovative. Aravind, who wants to be a script-writer; Naji, an engineering student; Disney from Nalanchira; Mahesh; and Sinoj, who enacted the role of the ship’s captain, were part of the group.
The third group of Sreedhar Pushpavanam, Anuraj, Deepu and Sajin Babu decided to go in for the scene in the courtroom where Sreedhar’s diction sounded just right for the Italian mariner. Almost everyone in the hall had a smile on their faces when Sreedhar said with a smirk: ‘’This is a matter of international relations. This court is not going to decide our fate.’’
Anuraj, a graphic designer by profession, had designed the poster for the workshop. Almost all the participants were youngsters, while a couple of salt-and-pepper heads made their presence felt.
‘’Soon, we will hold theme-based workshops and special workshops on script-writing, direction, art direction and so on. This time around, we were supported by August Films and we hope such interest in theatre would continue,’’ said workshop co-ordinator Bilas Nair.