From Friday, 11 April 2014 till Sunday,13 April 2014 was held the Residential Director’s Workshop organised by the Ministry of Arts and Culture. Last time, it was at Mahebourg that I had the opportunity to attend the Beginner Actor’s workshop. This year, it was in the beautiful Pointe Aux Sables Retreat Centre that many to-be directors were trained by the staff of the Drama Unit, Ministry of Arts and Culture.
Friday, 11 April 2014
After the written test in Cinematography at RTI, it was time to check in at Point Aux Sable around 6.30pm (the official registration process was scheduled from 3.30pm till 6pm). I arrived during the briefing session about the rules and regulations and programme of activities. Had the opportunity to see faces of many familiar theatre lovers and also lots of other theatre passionates with whom I was not acquainted yet. Pleasantly surprised to meet again participants from the previous workshop, and also Mauritian film actors. And last but not the list, 2 cool talented musician Rodriguan artists who came specially to attend the workshop with the help of arts officer/champion Slam artist – Stelio J.P. Louis.
After registration, I got my folder and room allocation. Then came the time for grouping. 6 groups were formed and I got a group comprising of 2 directors having won the previous National Best Director Award. Our mentors were Dass J. and Vishal A.
After dinner (the Retreat Centre catering section – famous for being STRICT on time in the dining room), the group got to meet for a first working session – on stage geography.
After some theory, we got our script on Robin Hood and Allan-a-Dale -a story about Robin Hood and his assistant – Little John conversing with elegantly dressed Allan a Dale who is passing by the forest in order to go to the city to get married with Mary. Allan a Dale unfortunatley finds that the father of Mary is organising the marriage of his lover with an Old but Rich man. After being beaten up, Allan a Dale seeks the help of Robin Hood in order to be re-united with his love. Same occurs as Robin Hood intervenes and there is a happy ending of the 2 lovers.
After a first reading, the group decided to translate the script into ‘Kreole’ to facilitate comprehension with the audience. There was the election of the Director of the play – Ritesh M. MBC Radio Jockey.
Saturday, 12 April 2014
The next day, after a nuit blanche, the bell rang at 5.00am to awaken us as the first warm up session was scheduled at 6.00 am. We started with very head-to-toe warming up and some very interesting theatre games. We made a scenario where I was being shot by a bullet and the many other group members had to enact something as this action is being taken place.
After breakfast, the group met to continue the script translation.
Then our next theory class started on play analysis. A very interesting session during which I had inputted my experience of seeing a paid theatre audience at NSD’s flagship Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the International Theatre Festival of India. Then we finalised the casting and techinical team.
Jeckel Colet (from Rodrigues) – Robin Hood, me as his assistant – Little John (‘ti zean’ in Kreole) and Akilesh as Allan a Dale.
By the ringing of the ‘Lunch Time’ bell, we were able to do the blocking of the First team. A milestone achieved.
After that, around 13.00 we had a lecturer demonstration by Ashish B. Lecturer and theatre actor/director from MIE. It was with great honour and pleasure to meet Ashish, the last time having met him for his production/performance at Alliance Francaise for All my Sons.
As expected, it was a very informative session, specially on composing positions on stage. The last 20 minutes of Questions/Answers session were also very interesting as directors/actors raised their voice on issues affecting them in their ‘theatre work’. I seized the opportunity to ask 2 questions about whether directors should equally play the role of main actor?
After the tea time of 15:00 hr, it was time to continue the rehearsals on stage for the Scene 2 and Scene 3 of Allan-A-Dale.
For me personally, it was really exhaustive and intensive theatre sessions. All my battery was drained, as such had to visit the nursing officer of the establishment.
Around 9pm, there was a cultural programme, which was a Huge success!
Many performances were done by different participants in the cultural programme:
- Slam – Ein, slam abstrait by Stelio
- Short plays
were all very very much appreciated by the audience. After very well entertained, I badly needed a good rest in order to be ready for the final performance day on Sunday, 13 April.
Sunday, 13 April 2014
The D-Day, had trouble to wake up early nevertheless did an effort. Was nice to have the warming up exercises, specially ones on Voice work and on Trusting the Director. Then we focused on polishing the final scene, as well as working out the costume and sound effects. The technical team, under the leadership of the group leader and director was at work.
After a final run-through, there was a pack lunch offered and we were instructed to pack up in order to check out at 13.00 pm.
Had the opportunity to do makeup..
The ceremony started with the welcome address by my father.
It was a pleasure to see reprentatives of the different organising committee of the National Drama Festival present at the presentation and closing ceremony. Even more pleasant surprise (or unexpected for me) was the presence of Hon. Mukeshwar Choonee!
We were waiting for our turn in the audience and enjoying the performance of other plays meanwhile..
Play: The Show must go on…
Finally came our turn…
Here are some snapshots of my performance in our much awaited play by the the Groupe ‘Ein’ in the role of ‘ti zean’:
And the full team on stage is here:
It was a nice experience being trained in directing and also performing with a new cast.
The closing speech was performed by Hon. M. Choonee, Minister of Arts and Culture. The final play – ‘A Christmas Carol’ was presented.
After which there were some refreshments and final goodbye time. I will carry with me great souvenirs of this residential workshop where had the opportunity to meet new friends and learn new things in the field of Theatre Directing.