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A Two- Day led by Playwright, Screenwriter, Film-Maker and Stage Director Mahesh Dattani, presented by Royal Opera House, Mumbai and Avid Learning.

This workshop is for theatre connoisseurs, budding actors and theatre practitioners which will explore the essentials of theatre appreciation and examine the various processes involved in producing for the stage.

This two-day workshop will focus on building appreciation for the diverse aspects of Theatre through understanding the various distinctive processes involved such as Writing, Directing, Acting, and Producing. This workshop will also feature a number of professionals from the dramatic fraternity who will instruct and share insights on their specific area of expertise.

Instructors from various sub-disciplines of the dramatic arts will be joining Mahesh during the course of the two insightful days from whom participants will learn processes of creating exceptional theatre.

The workshop will touch upon writing for performance, understanding plot and structure, scenarios and scriptwriting formats with Mahesh. It will also examine acting techniques, the changing role of the director, telling stories through scenography and the functions and nuances of production: music, lighting & set design, costuming. Practical aspects of marketing, administration, venue & stage management will also be touched upon.

On the first day, Writing, Acting & Physical Theatre and Directing will be covered. Mahesh will set the tone of the workshop and speak about the beginnings of theatre- writing and the role of the playwright, the shift from oracle to spectacle and how words on a page can translate into visual elements and physical action. This session will also include Theatre Director, Writer and Actor Sheena Khalid who will examine some of the finer points of physical theatre through dramatized readings and demonstrations before having participants improvise scenes of their own. Mahesh will also elucidate the Director's process and how it differs from stage to screen.

On day two, the world behind the stage and beyond will open up for participants as they learn about Production Elements, Artistic Development and Marketing. Founder & Artistic Director - Readings in the Shed Nikhil Kataraand Creative Editor - Readings in the Shed Himali Kothari will speak about their work with non-fiction literature within the context of theatre production. Costume Designer Sonal Kharade will speak on costuming for the stage. To close the workshop on a high note- participants will have exclusive access to the workings of a live production that is being put up on the Opera House stage that very evening!

Workshop Highlights:

· Writing techniques for the stage

· Rhythm, tempo & tension

· Decoding Dramaturgy

· An actor's instrument and the prerequisites for a good stage actor

· Mise-en-scene: crafting worlds onstage

· Taking care of Business: Post-production, theatre administration and Marketing

· Exclusive backstage access to a live play production at the venue

Whether you are a student, an avid theatergoer, a playwright or connoisseur, join us to expand your understanding and enjoyment of the theatrical arts, by immersing yourself into the field's critical, aesthetic, and practical aspects.

About the Instructors

Mahesh Dattani is a playwright, stage director, screenwriter and filmmaker. In 1998 Mahesh Dattani won the prestigious central Sahitya Akademi Award for his book Final Solutions and Other Plays, the highest award for a literary work in the country. Today his plays are produced in all the major cities of India. His works have been produced in cities outside the country as well including London, Leicester, New York, Washington DC, Sydney, Colombo, Toronto and Dubai. Some of his plays have been translated and performed in Hindi, Gujarati, German, Japanese, Nepali, Odiya and Kannada. His plays are on the syllabus of several Indian and foreign universities and schools. His film Mango Souffle (writer and director) was shown in several international film festivals all over the world and was adjudged the best motion picture at the Barcelona Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2003. The film was also selected by the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival for a 28 theatre screening across the UK. His film Morning Raga (writer and director) had its international premiere at the Cairo Film Festival in December and he won the award for best artistic contribution. The script has been archived by The Academy of Motion Pictures, USA. Where Did I Leave My Purdah and Gauhar are his most recent works as a playwright, both directed by Lillete Dubey of The Prime Time Theatre Company, Mumbai. Most recently, he directed his play Where Did I Leave My Purdah? on film for Zee5 Productions. His other directorial credits include adaptations of Lorca's Yerma and Blood Wedding. He also directed Tagore's Chokher Bali for Barnard College, Columbia University, USA. Currently, he is working on one new play as writer and one as a director. He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of Playpen Performing Arts Trust, Mumbai.


Sheena Khalid is a theatre director, writer and actor based in Mumbai. She is a founding member of the theatre company, Patchworks Ensemble. She has trained in Physical Theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts. At LISPA she was a scholarship student for the Advanced Course. With Patchworks, she has co-directed and co-devised the shows, Ila, The Gentlemen's Club AKA Tape, Fly By Night, and Shikaar. Ila is based on a lesser-known myth in the Indian epic texts called 'Puranas', about a king whose gender waxes and wanes in accordance to the moon. In 2016, Ila won the Laadli Award for Gender Sensitivity. Gentlemen's Club AKA Tape is a unique cabaret-style theatre performance about the lives of various drag kings (a fairly unknown and unseen performance style in India). Both Ila and The Gentlemen's Club have travelled to several prestigious theatre festivals around the country including the NSD Theatre Festival, Hindu Metroplus Theatre Festival, NCPA Centre Stage, and Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival, amongst others. Sheena is also producer and performer in Patchworks Ensemble's third creation, Fly by Night, based on the phenomenon of "evaporating people" in Japan. Her latest production, Shikaar opened in August of 2019 and will have an extended run in November of this same year. Produced by Gaysi Family, Sheena has also directed the show Pinky Promise for their 10-year anniversary celebration. She was a performer and writer on the show Where I Stand curated by the G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture and The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh. The show premiered in 2018 at The G5A Foundation, Mumbai and then travelled to The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. After the show, she was invited to conduct a Master Class with the students of the Master's Script Writing course at the University of Glasgow. Apart from this, Sheena is also a drama facilitator at the Drama School Mumbai (DSM) where she teaches improvisation and devising. She is also the strand head of the Theatre Making Laboratory at the DSM. Sheena has spent a great deal of time with co-director Puja Sarup exploring ideas of solo storytelling. Together they have developed modules which they now take into classrooms and offices around Mumbai. She has conducted training with Axis Bank, Piramal, Kotak Mahindra Bank, BNP Paribas, HUL, and S.P Jain School of Global Management. She has created independent workshop modules for working professional and non-actors. She has been associated with Vice Media as a host of their Vice Talks Films.

As a writer Nikhil Katara initiated his journey in the year 2011, with his own production titled "The Unveiling", a science fiction drama. It won much appreciation for its scientism and philosophical themes. The play opened at the 'Kala Ghoda Arts Festival' and had an initial run of ten shows. To strengthen critical thinking, he studied a Masters in Arts program in Philosophy at the Mumbai university with optionals in Kant, Greek Hellinistic Philosophy, Feminism, Logic and Existentialism. He also worked at Entertainment Bay, where he wrote a short play for 'Pidilite' that traveled to Delhi and Indore. He participated in the "Hard Places" young writers' workshop by Rage productions where his play "In The Moment" won a critique by Mercury theatre (London) director Dave Norton. He conducts a reading club where writers, philosophers and directors in the city of Mumbai critique contemporary, original and classic plays on a weekly basis. He has written book reviews and opinion articles in the One India One People magazine and is also working on his first novel. He was associated with the Free Press Journal for a few years during which he wrote book reviews for the newspaper. He wrote the play "Yatagarasu" which opened at the Prithvi theatre in June 2016 and then traveled to Chennai and Bengaluru for the 'Hindu Fest'. He also is a consultant facilitator at J's Academy, a novel performing arts institute for young performers. He has worked with the Indian Navy on Navy Night 2019, and has recently collaborated with the Playpen performing arts trust to bring to the stage letters written by Subhas Chandra Bose and Sarat Chandra Bose during the Indian Independence Struggle. He has directed 18 performances of Readings in the Shed from its inception in April 2018.

After completing her MA in Advertising & Marketing from University of Leeds (UK) in 2001, Himali Kothari returned to India and worked as a freelance marketing consultant for a brief period. A just-for-fun enrolment in a Creative Writing Workshop reacquainted her with her childhood hobby of writing and propelled her into writing as a full-time profession. She has written on travel, business & finance, food, lifestyle, design & architecture and general interest topics for print magazines and online portals. She has also donned the role of researcher and creative editor for non-fiction books. When she is not writing, she is talking about it in her creative writing workshop at Xavier's Institute of Communication, Mumbai. She has developed a Writing Skills Lab for educational and corporate organisations to enable them to develop writing as a core skill amongst their personnel. What she treasures most about writing, is the opportunity to express herself without any interruptions.
She has recently collaborated with the Playpen performing arts trust to bring to the stage letters written by Subhas Chandra Bose and Sarat Chandra Bose during the Indian Independence Struggle.

Sonal Kharade is a passionate and innovative costume designer who has worked in over 50 productions including films, commercials, television shows, web series and more.

Where: Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Mumbai - 400 004

When: Saturday, 25th January 2020 & Sunday, 26th January 2020; 9:30AM - 4:00PM

Fee: Rs. 2500/- (including lunch)

RSVP: | ; prior registration required

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