Discussion on Theatre Workshop
(MA II English, 16-17 May)
All the students shared their opinion on the workshop on theatre. Many students opined that the workshop helped them to come out of their inhibitions and stage fright.
Why should we learn acting if we are not interested in the field? Why did we introduce theatre in Literature? These were some of the questions that were discussed in the class on 16th.
Mr. Pinto counter questioned why this question comes only about theatre studies and not other subjects. He clarified that Drama is a subject proper to English Studies or English Department. And the Department always maintained the opinion that the best way to teach drama is acting it although there are very few who actually try it out. The name is shifted from Drama to Theatre Studies because of its emphasis on practical. So it is important to undergo the process or theatrical workshop.
He also said that experience should be an important aspect of theoretical formulation where possible. English dept had long divorced the performative-experience of theatre from the study of plays.
When Drama/theatre, although originally part of English Department, was losing its significance in the discipline, comparative studies connected it with apparently unconnected discussions. The comparative study itself was a new way of keeping the old colonialism alive in academics.
Mr. Pinto also said that with an interest to make the paper more practical, there was a plan to involve Rangasangkara to teach this paper in the University. This was to fill one of the gaps in Indian universities. as they do not collaborate with actual practitioners of the art like Drama, although they are brought for short term lecturing.
Newer academic spaces also are yet to completely open up to this as they are concerned more with their brand name and identity which could be lost by involving other people regularly in their curriculum, he commented. Some universities are attempting to make innovations in the field of English Studies and Dramatics.
Notes by Jijo, II MA