A tiatr workshop organized by St Joseph Vaz High School in Sancoale had to be extended by 2 days in order to cater to the 50 odd students (20 more than what was planned) who enrolled for it. PIO ESTEVES interacted with the organizers of the event to provide more details
It is rightly said, ‘Catch them young, and you will get the best results.’ A first of its kind tiatr workshop organized by St Joseph Vaz High School, Sancoale, had 50 candidates participating in it, out of which around 40 per cent of the children belonged to the migrant community.
The workshop which was initially planned only for 30 candidates, resulted in 50 enrolling for it on voluntary and first-come-first-serve basis. It was planned only for 10 days, but due to the active involvement of enthusiast migrant children, it had to be extended to 12 days as they had to be provided with the basic knowledge of what tiatr is all about, before nourishing them further with the nuances of tiatr. As they were fluent in speaking Konkani, it wasn’t a difficult task to guide them through this local art.
Supported by the Tiatr Academy of Goa, this workshop included provision of knowledge of tiatr and its format, styles of walking for characterization, breathing exercises, role analysis, improvisations, mime and movements, enactment of poetry and dialogue delivery.
More than the students from the locality, the migrant children from in and around Sancoale looked excited and keen on enacting the roles provided to them. By listening to the prompt dialogue delivery, besides their skilled enactment on stage, it was difficult to identify the migrants from the rest of the local student community.
Noted tiatrist, Michael Gracias, who was the resource person for the workshop, opined that children’s theatre needs to be promoted on a big scale in Goa as it is the breeding ground for good future tiatrists. “If similar workshops are conducted on regular basis in schools and colleges, then tapping varied talent will be much easier. And the manner in which they will be further groomed at the workshops will definitely bring out the best results, further providing scope for improvement in the standard of tiatr,” he added.
After providing the rudiments of tiatr and completing the entire exercise in the workshop, the participants were asked to present a classroom scene without any script in hand. Fixing the concept in mind, majority of the students, including the migrants, enacted a scene quite confidently, highlighting the policy of honesty. The remaining participants enacted some scenes from the popular tiatr ‘Futt’, which was provided to them earlier in the book form. A Konkani duet was also rendered by two students on the concluding day of the workshop.
“If school and college students with sound knowledge of tiatr are given the taste of tiatr that Lucasinho Ribeiro, Joao Agostinho Fernandes, Saib Rocha, J P Souzalin and others had, if we make them visualize the concept of tiatr vis-à-vis the vision of our founding fathers and imbibe in them the quest for taking tiatr with enlightened mind that our forefathers did and thereby promoting quality tiatrs, we will be able to reap a harvest of dedicated and visionary tiatrists,” informed Gracias, as the workshop concluded.
Normally a trained theatre personality is brought for such workshops held in villages and tiatrists are invited only to speak on tiatr history, script and direction. “They have no knowledge of tiatr, its format and other details,” reveals Gracias, “Tiatrists giving workshops will help them deliver better due to vast experience in that field. And that experience will make students understand what the idea behind a tiatr is.”
Commenting on the recently held tiatr workshop, Sr Emelia of St Joseph Vaz High School said that she was overwhelmed with the response from the students and its productive effect after the workshop. “Initially a hunt for a tiatr and a resource person to guide the students for the annual day turned out to be an unexpected effective workshop for our students. If such workshops continue on regular basis in schools across the state, then students will get a sound foundation and a good platform to showcase their theatrical skills and we can definitely expect good future tiatrists on the Konkani stage.”