Theatre Flamingo, a travelling theatre group will unveil their new project ‘5.0 – Theatre Awakening’ with their first assignment ‘Dumb Indignation’ on August 4 at 6.30 p.m. at Sneha Mandir, Ponda. NT BUZZ in conversation with co-founder and play director Keatan Jadhav
- Tell us more about the project ‘Theatre Awakening’.
Theater is like a gym for empathy. It’s where we can go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with other people. We practice sitting down, paying attention and learning from other people’s actions. We practice caring. My peers need this kind of practice even more than adults do. This is going to be our planet and we have got more time to apply that empathy and make a difference. Theatre Awakening is the project designed for the same, to awaken my family on earth.
- Through this project you want to explore the various facets of physical theatre. Could you tell us more?
It’s wrong to put a divide between text-based theatre and physical theatre. Theatre is always physical. The body expresses a story in itself.
I want to explore the various facets of intimate theatre i.e. actor and audience should be at one level. The audience should connect ultimately to the emotions of the actor which are actually of the audience itself.
- Dumb Indignation is your first assignment under this. Tell us more.
‘Dumb Indignation’ is a result of the burning issues in Goa related to girl safety and the whole scenario of how girls are treated in the name of culture, religion, and clan prestige nowadays.
- What sort of preparation went into this project?
I came up with the concept a long time ago and the script preparation was started in April-May. Apart from observing society, photography and paintings are also a part of this project together with a lot of discussion and debate. My actor, Amodi Sanap who will be performing this play, travelled from Goa to Pune observing men. Our costume designer Prajakta also introduced us to her hidden diary about men.
- You also hope to travel to cities in Maharashtra…
Rape is an extremely burning issue in India. While the government is taking some turtle steps, change should first happen in everyone’s home. So we Flamingos decided to take this theatrical play from home to home. In this way we want to give a live feeling to everybody here on how it feels when we stare at a woman, comment on her etc. We don’t need a big stage, lights or sets for this piece. But being a movement oriented play; we need some space that suits the performance. In Goa we are looking at spaces in fringe areas like Paingini, Canacona and in cities like Panaji and Ponda. In Maharashtra we are looking at performing in spaces like Aurangabad, Pune, Mumbai and Nanded.
- Which languages do you perform in?
There is no bar as such of language. We have previously performed in Marathi, Hindi, English, Konkani and even in a non-verbal way. We would also like to do a play in gibberish – a language which has no meaning.
- What is your take on the interest and scope of theatre in Goa?
– There is lot of scope in our traditional theatre i.e. tiatr which is being explored and taken to the next level. But there is a need to improve our village theatre. Some theatre workshops should be conducted in each and every fringe area in Goa.
- What are some of the challenges you face as a theatre group and theatre practitioner?
If one has to sustain in this field, then there is a need to develop theatre culture on a bigger level. In Goa, art and theatre is not looked at as a proper profession and there is a lack of theatre in education studies. Also the influence of films, Bollywood in particular, in Goan folk theatre has diluted it. Also there is a lack of contemporary playwrights in Goa and many directors are not attempting any different or original content for theatre competitions. Besides this there is a lack of space in Goa for theatre rehearsals. And while there is an audience for theatre, this is divided by language, politics, religious taste, etc.