The iconic theatre youth festival, Thespo 16 reached the Day 3 mark and continued to entertain, educate and enthral the theatre wallahs. After a thoughtful reminiscence to the 16 December Delhi rape incident the previous day, Day 3’s flavour was out of the box and filled with youthful spirits.
The energy at Prithvi Theatre was contagious when the day began with Josephine Joy’s workshop ‘Out of the Box’ where the UK based performer and deviser shared innumerable ways of creating movement and sound for unconventional performance spaces. She amazed the young theatre enthusiasts with nuances of how to tell stories without speaking; breaking the boundaries of traditional theatre set ups and exploring what one can do outside of a black box studio. Also Kaizad Gherda, grade 8 western classical pianist trained from the Royal School of Music offered a deep understanding of music for theatre and shared some trade secrets of applying various styles, themes and scales of performance in his workshop, ‘Understanding Music for Theatre’.
As the sun went down, Meera Shenoy’s favourite folk, jazz and blues numbers reverberated all across the quintessential venue. Her melodies gave way to a film screening of its kind when Alliance Francaise Bombay presented 'Ariane Mnouchkine - L'Aventure du Theatre du Soleil' (1974) where Director Catherine Vilpoux recounted the noteworthy journey of veteran French stage director Ariane Mnouchkine, her inspirations, her dreams for the theatre, her love of cinema and most of all her unique and extraordinary bond with audiences.
Soon, Halifax theatre artist Gillian Clark took to the stage with her platform comedy act, ‘Understudy’ about a nine year old boy named Dylan who is on a journey of self acceptance after he has clearly been miscast as Sheep #11/ Wiseman #1. The show features Shakespeare, Shakira and Sequins and stands out while presenting a unique perspective of nine years old Dylan deftly told by Clark.
Before theatre lovers and performers could call it a day, they witnessed a play inspired by Malala Yousufzai’s life, Tomar Dake performed by Kolkata’s Theatre Shine. It portrayed a hard-hitting picture of social injustice in north and west Asian countries and serves as a call to break the monarchy that tramples upon human rights in the name of democracy.
Day 4 has in store a delectable mix of performances and experiences, each getting better by the day. Besides two workshops ‘Speak the Speech by Shernaz Patel’ and ‘Understanding Music for Theatre by Kaizad Gherda’, there is a fringe performance ‘Avyakt’ by Natakwalahs who present an intriguing and unexpected conversation between a retired school clerk and a stranger. Some flavours of the fervent Marathi theatre will come to life with a platform performance ‘Happy Endings’ where the protagonist takes matters in his own hands to ensure he gets his happy ending unlike most other life situations, and ‘Castle of Glass’, a play that weaves together a delicately intense tale of artist Kumar Devdhar. Add to that Bass guitarist, singer and songwriter Vivek Date’s evening rock and roll renditions that are sure to add another distinct colour to the much awaited day 4.
The 16th edition of Thespo, the annual drama festival for theatre-wallahs below the age of 25 is taking place from 15th to 21st December 2014. Organized by QTP, under the aegis of Theatre Group Bombay, it will be taking place in two venues this year: the iconic Prithvi Theatre, which has been the home of Thespo since 2008, and Sitara Studio, the city’s latest indie cultural space that used to stage Marathi plays back in the 1970s. The festival, this year, is centered on the theme ‘Plug-In to the Tamasha’.