The Theatre classes are a wonderful insight into the beauty and value of the arts! As we began our journey, we were introduced to various creative aspects and skills involved in the art of Theatre, like listening skills, communication skills, research skills, and creative thinking skills.

During the first few sessions of the Theatre class, my fellow classmates and I were made to take part in an introductory activity. In this activity, we had to pick an object in our immediate surrounding, and formulate a story centred around the chosen object. We were encouraged to go with the flow, and let our creativity loose. I believe that this activity not only increased our spontaneity, but also broadened our imagination. It made us realise that creative inspiration can be taken even from the smallest, most ordinary things.

I feel that such activities will also help improve the quality of our performances in the future, especially building backstories for our characters in order to understand and connect with them, so that we can essay the role wholeheartedly. This activity also helps hone creative inspiration, that may aid the script writer or director when forming a vision of what they wish to express.

Many listening and concentration activities were conducted, which brought a certain spark of fun to the class. It helped us with our memory, as well as spontaneity.

In later classes, in an attempt to familiarise students with the IA, we were asked to collaboratively construct a screenplay based on an image or painting of our choice. This, in turn, made collaboration easier, as we found suitable platforms and connections to work on. This activity also introduced us to the basics of script writing.

The process of writing the script really stood out for me. It felt wonderful to be able to visualise a scene in my head, feel the part of the character, the emotions that course through the scene, and be able to put it all on paper. It made the script feel more special, as we tried to build the story through the characters’ eyes.

In the classes following this, we used the script to explore the concept of “Subtext”.  We explored how subtext of various situations and emotions affects the delivery of one particular dialogue set. We worked upon this concept by using expressions to convey subtext as well.

In the same class, we were briefed upon the Process Journal, the writing process, and its benefits in writing our assessments, as well as the independent research project. In regard to research, we were each asked to pick a theatre organisation, and research upon how each theatre group was broadening its horizons during this period of isolation. This not only helped develop research skills, but also gave us a lot of information about performance on virtual platforms.

We also explored the Director’s notebook, its components and its importance.

We were introduced to method acting, and the positive impact it may have on bringing naturality to an actor’s performance.

The term ‘Frozen action’ was taught as well, and an activity was conducted upon the same topic in order to deepen our understanding. For this activity we used the script I and a fellow student had collaboratively put together, and took stills from each scene. Personally, I enjoyed this activity immensely, as it allowed us to delve into the acting aspect of theatre.

All-in-all, the theatre classes have given me an insight into the spontaneous and creative elements of theatre, and I look forward to classes in the future!

By: Rachna Govindayapalli, DP year 1 student