Theatre Education forms a large basis of Indian Ensemble. One of the earliest actions of Indian Ensemble was to create a year-long training program. This let us reach people, create communities and share experiences. The Program was an effort to bridge the gap between an active society’s engagement with theatre and the need to train properly in this art form. The program was an extensive one year long theatre course, where participants from different backgrounds came together to train as actors, writers, directors, and also work towards creating their own theatre. At the training program, the only criterion to get trained was commitment.
Participants had to show a high degree of commitment towards the theatre and a willingness to work hard to train. Our students ranged from professional actors and writers to people who professionally were working in other vocations but were extremely serious about pursuing this art form as a way of life.
Many theatre companies were formed by former students of this program and have gone on to produce diverse and varied productions. Students went on to win awards such as the Charles Wallace, Inlaks, Shyamand Jalal awards for theatre and writing.
Director’s Training Program (2015)
Indian Ensemble Directors’ training program is an initiative by Indian Ensemble to educate young theatre practitioners in Direction. This initiative is supported by Riad Mahmood Education and Arts Foundation. The training program is spread over 8 months and is free of cost to the participants.
First semester is work on Sakharam Binder, Second Semester on Equus, Third on Neel Chaudhuri’s Taramandal and the last two months on individual projects. The process involves getting actors, managing rehearsals, planning space so as to replicate a real world working atmosphere for practical hands on knowledge.
The blog below traces the journey of the participants through their essential learnings, workshop experiences, challenges and the progression of this training program. All class notes will be shared for anyone interested. Young aspiring directors all over are welcome to go through notes, including notes with eminent guest directors, designers, writers etc.
Theatre Making Program (2013-14)
Indian Ensemble, with the support of Riad Mahmood Education and Arts Foundation conducted an intensive Theatre Making Programme in 2013.
This one of a kind 3 month program in devising, writing and directing plays received applications from all over the country. The 11 selected participants attended the program with Abhishek Majumdar and Sandeep Shikhar as core faculty and a host of guest faculty that included Irawati Karnik, Anmol Vellani, Sunil Shanbagh, Neel Chaudhuri, Sameer Vidwans, Sophia Stepf among others. The program was conducted completely free of charge, with the generous help of The Riad Mahmood Education and Arts Foundation, so that students from diverse rural and urban backgrounds could participate in this learning experience.
The students of this program were exposed to 12-16 hours of classes and rehearsals everyday. The program culminated with final presentations to an open audience in Bangalore. Participants from Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Cochin, West Bengal and Lucknow have gone on to stage plays and create interesting work in their own spaces. They continue to receive accolades and further create opportunities for others.
Repertory Training Program (2010)
This was the first training program started by Indian Ensemble in it’s home space Rangamadu where young enthusiasts underwent a year-long training program that involved work on the body- text – improvisation – group process – final projects as full-length productions. Students who were part of this program have today successfully formed their own companies and found their own path and artistic visions. Some of the members are today working as playwright, directors and actors like Shrunga B V, Ramneek Singh, Sreekant Rao, Akshay Gandhi, Chanakya Vyas, Jhanavi Kamath, Vinay Kumar and many others.