'My only love sprung from my only hate'
Our UK visitors, Madhav Sharma and Miranda Lapworth, conducted two workshops, introducing Shakespeare to participants through stage acting. On Apr 24 they took up scenes from Romeo and Juliet for acting, and on Apr 25 it was Macbeth. The film shows of the two plays had been arranged on the day prior to the workshops.
'this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine'
The participants were divided into groups of two or three as required and handed out the text of short scenes, for example, the opening scene from R &J where the servants of the Capulet and Montague families go about insulting and taunting each other until swords are drawn and a brawl ensues.
Miranda Lapworth with participants in the Romeo & Juliet Workshop on Apr 24
First, the workshop attendees focused on what the scene was about, the emotions and underlying tensions, and how they are manifested by the characters playing the scene. Then one had to visualise how to occupy the space on the stage and the orientation of the players and significant gestures by them. Imaginative recreations of the atmosphere and the physical locale (e.g. framing the balcony with two pairs of hands forming an arch for the Balcony Scene from R & J) were constructed with the guidance of the workshop conductors.
Madhav Sharma with participants in the Romeo & Juliet Workshop, Apr 24
The participants were carried away with enthusiasm for the scene being enacted and put all their energy in getting it right. The scene was repeated several times by each group to introduce improvements. Madhav Sharma reiterated that there is no one way to do a scene, and the same actor will try out different methods, proving thereby that the play has riches to be discovered only by studying and working on the underlying text.
Anna Raju & Sudakshna Thampi, Amita Palat at the R & J Workshop, Apr 24
In what follows is the text of the scenes from the play (all edited for brevity), and pictures of the workshops in process.
To read more, click below.