English Drama in Pune

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My Yahoo Answers

Posted by deepakmorris on November 25, 2011 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

To see my answers about various aspects of theatre on Yahoo answers, go to the following URL:

My Yahoo Answers

Over 2,000 answers and adding day by day.

Music, Maths, Language and Theatre

Posted by deepakmorris on October 5, 2011 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (1)

There are a couple of interesting discussions going on about music being mathematical at Facebook - well, they are the ones I'm aware of, there are probably more discussions on the same theme on Facebook by people to whom I am not connected.

Music and theatre are inextricably intertwined. Theatre uses music to creat mood, to reinforce the ethos of a scene, to accelerate the grasp of a scene - when you hear a rimshot, you know a one-liner has been delivered and you laugh. Then your brain replays the one-liner and you get the actual humour and laugh again. Every stand-up comedian knows this.

So I thought I'd explore this theme a bit in this blog. It'll probably take more than a few posts to explore this but here goes:

Music is inherent in humans

Have you watched a mother swaying her baby to sleep? She sings a lullaby without even thinking about it. She may never have sung in her life. She may think she's an awful singer. At a karaoke bar, she may actually prove that thought. However, to put her baby to sleep, she SINGS! 

What is it that makes every human mother sing to her baby? Is she genetically programmed to do so?

If that is true, then music is in our genes. Even the most un-musical human has the musical gene or he / she would never find a lullaby soothing.

Where did this music come from?

The begining of music is rhythm

I once had an argument with a music teacher, my stance being that some people are musical, others are not and nothing can be done about that.

My teacher grimly replied, "Even the most un-musical soldier learns to march in step."

(This ties in perfectly with my own belief that we are all actors, we just don't know it, but that's a topic for a different post).

Rhythm, then, is an integral part of us. We may not move our bodies very elegantly to a rhythm but we CAN stomp to a rhythm

There has to be an evolutionary reason for this. There HAS to be a reason why every human mother sings to her infant and every human being is capable of moving in rhythm.

I'll leave you with just these two thoughts for now. I'll be exploring them in further detail over the days.

Stay tuned :)

How to stage kiss

Posted by deepakmorris on January 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Just thought I'd share...


Hit Reload if the video doesn't work right off the bat... It'll work after a few tries, believe me :)


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Get online!

Posted by deepakmorris on February 6, 2010 at 1:31 PM Comments comments (0)

If you are serious about being an actor or scriptwriter or anyone in theatre, you need to be found.


Gone are the days when a physical address meant anything. Slumdog Millionnaire has proved that where you live means nothing at all.


An online presence means a lot.


It allows you to give away things for free, get popular and then get paid for things that only you can do in your own niche!


From my answer to a related question on Yahoo! Answers:


Post on YouTube, Twitter, cross-post on Facebook, join online acting communities, get active in your local (non-virtual) community, contact agents, blog, make a website and lots more.


 

You have to get yourself "out there", whichever way you can. It doesn't cost much to make and post a video to Youtube - heck, you can do it with a mobile phone - so why not?

 

Even if it doesn't help directly, it adds to your online presence and that is crucial. You never know just what is going to help so you might as well do as much as you can.


 

 

"Business Is War" in competition!

Posted by deepakmorris on February 4, 2010 at 2:16 PM Comments comments (0)

The Director of Forensics, University High School - a lab school that is a part of Illinois State University, has indicated that, "Business Is War" is pitched to be their entry for an inter-school competition!


Here's the info about the school:


"University High School is a lab school that is a part of Illinois State University. Our mission goes beyond the teaching of high school students as we are also charged with the responsibility to help with the instruction of future teachers that are currently attending Illinois State. As such, our 600+ high school students are supplemented by about 1000 college students each semester at various stages in their learning about curriculum and instruction.


 

"This provides a fascinating, collegial atmosphere that allows our highschool students to flourish and actively pursue becoming prepared for alifetime of learning. Please take a look at our website  "


-------

My thanks to Illinois State University and Mark Adams for considering, "Business Is War" a worthy entry in the competition. Illinois State University is a prestigious institution and I consider it a privilege that it selects my little play as a competition entry!


 

Discovering sub-text

Posted by deepakmorris on August 4, 2009 at 4:56 PM Comments comments (0)

It's always such a thrill when an actor discovers sub-text.


I've experienced tons of actors who are so focused on showing off [look Mama, I'm on stage!] that exhortations to discover sub-text are lost.


But once in a while comes an actor who listens... who tries it out... and then, there's magic on stage.


Leon found it. Ruchi did. The Khanna sisters were born with it! Sandeep found it. Ananda is another who was born with it. Niloufer found it. Namrata found it. Dalip found it. Naina's a natural at it. So is Gayatri.


In the dark hours, when I think, "Why do I even try?"


Knowing that you guys got it, makes it worthwhile.


Thank you.

What is this animal called Theatre?

Posted by deepakmorris on March 20, 2009 at 2:48 PM Comments comments (0)
Minutes before show time...

The announcement has been made that the show will begin in two minutes...

There's a hush and a palpable energy from the audience. Someone coughs and immediately holds his breath... the show is about to begin...

Backstage, actors wonder if they'll get on stage at just the right moment. No one looks at the script. It's too late, anyway. One goes on or one does not. The cue triggers the action or it does not. The tech rehearsal was awful. The dress rehearsal was worse. Oh God! It's show time! Will we forget whole sections of the script like we did in the dress rehearsal?

And then, magic!

We are no longer actors in the wings, waiting for cues.

We are there, telling the story. There's no question of needing a prompter. The story flows. I forget a line, my co-actor covers and moves the story forward. The antagonist cues up and takes over from my momentary lapse. She hates me in the play but, like me, she wants the story to go forward. It's all about the play. It's all about completing the arc of interest in that scene, then the arc in the act and finally, good triumphs over evil. Or it doesn't. We send the audience home with a nagging question.

But no one can say anything about the acting because there was no acting. We were THERE! We lived the conflict! We laughed, we cried, we were cruel, we were soft. We didn't act it, we were it.

THAT is theatre.

Whether we like it or not, we're all going to die. Why not enrich every moment of our brief existence with the exhilaration that comes from telling the story?

Deepak

Whither Theatre in a FREE world?

Posted by deepakmorris on March 14, 2009 at 5:11 PM Comments comments (0)

Free websites, free blogs, free entertainment, even! The net is a "free-empowering" phenomenon.


You can even download movies for free.


If someone requests a script and I send it to him, there's nothing to prevent him from sending it on to all his friends. I'd go crazy trying to find out who's performed which play and where.


Is this the end of theatre?


I think it's the beginning of a new era in theatre.


The more we get online, the more we feel a need to connect for real. No entertainment can be more real than a theatrical performance. Live actors, on stage, right in front of us. No two performances ever alike! You can even meet the actors, for real, after the performance!


I think the net empowers live theatre even more than patrons did in Shakespearean times.


Deepak

Eliminate the Director!

Posted by deepakmorris on August 20, 2007 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

When I say "eliminate the director," I mean it on the lines of "If You See the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!"

This means, once the seeker has reached a particular point of development, a teacher is more likely to lead him astray than to guide him. After that point, the seeker must create his own road and, if he sees a teacher on that road, must eliminate him.

What I also mean by "Director" is the "Auteur Director." This is the kind of director most people are used to, someone who carves every bit of the play, telling actors what they must do, how they must do it and how they must say their lines. This is how film directors (at least, 99% of them) still direct movies.

On stage, however, that is stifling for the actor. Granted, in school productions, actors are too young to be able to interpret roles on their own. The Teacher Director must tell them exactly how each line is to be said, the actions they must perform while saying the lines, how they must move from point A to point B, etc.

If this form of direction continues later in life, however, the actor isn't allowed to grow. True development of the personality occurs when the actor learns to look at the role in the context of the scene and the scene in the context of the play and thus, the character in the context of the whole cast. It occurs when the actor gains the confidence to be able to "play with" the character, trying out different interpretations, inserting intellectual input into a creative endeavour.

There is, of course, a kind of director who cannot be eliminated, try as we might. This is the director who forms the "eye of the audience" during rehearsals. This director has a vision of the play and ensures that the actors portray that vision. If an actor misinterprets a role, this director must step in and guide him. However, he cannot do this UNTIL the actor interprets the role, however wrongly.

"Eliminating the Director" is like the quest for perfection; it can never be attained. Similarly, the director cannot actually be eliminated. However, I think it is necessary to work towards that elimination.

Deepak