Sunday, March 27, 2016

A masterpiece in the making


I have not been able to update my blog for a long time. Just got busy with a lot of stuff. However, recently I got the opportunity to see rehearsals of a play being directed by none other than Theatre Veteran Avijit Dutt. Getting behind the scenes of a theatre pro’s brand new theatre production was an opportunity I was not gonna miss. The creation process of a genius masterpiece would be as interesting as the masterpiece itself, if not more. So, let’s get down to business.


Artwork by Sonamm Sharma of Sozart Creative


The rehearsals was on first floor of an office. The owners of the office were generous enough to let the team rehearse there. This office wasn’t filled with ‘modern’ soul sucking cubicles but had and old school feel to it – wooden floors, beautiful desks and tables and a hangar to hang your coat – now if that is not a touch of class, I do not know what is. I had arrived a little early and only Mr. Avijit Dutt was there. I introduced myself and it was a great feeling just sitting next to such a theatre great – just the two of us in the room. I could feel the aura of creativity around him. Soon members of the cast started pouring in with gentle greetings. Everyone realised that Mr Dutt didn’t seem in best of his health and he in fact was running high temperature. But that did not vaporize his spirit or flow of creativity. I do now know where people draw their energies from. 


Avijit Dutt - Writer and Director of the Play
Most of the people I work with (who are probably third the age of Mr Dutt) take a day off just because a mosquito bit them in the morning. Soon, everyone was busy reading through the script. I have been in several situations like this – a team working together in a conference room and discussing a ‘project’. But other than the conference table, nothing was similar. Corporate board rooms are where insomniacs got to get treated. However, on this table, juices of creativity were flowing. Play is scripted by Mr Dutt and I realised that he constantly improves upon the play. Parts of scripts we re-written, scenes are re-designed to intensity the story telling. Actors learn their new lines quickly and get cracking. 
Theatre Exercises
Before they start, the actors indulge in team exercises. Not only does it work as a physical stretching of muscles, it also brings the actors in an unison. 
How the hell do we get out of this? 
Every scene was being carefully observed by the director. Some scenes came out perfectly while others were re-enacted until perfection was attained. As scenes were being enacted, rest of the actors immersed themselves in the script, byhearting their lines. Rehearsals happen almost everyday for weeks on end to attain perfection. Theatre is not a high paying (actually it pays almost nothing) profession, so make ends meet most actors have day jobs. It's not easy to manage daily rehearsals with a job and family. That is why I really appreciate these actors who come togther for pure passion of the stage. 


 “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the Axe”
Abraham Lincoln


In case of theatre production, the team spends 5 hours and 59 minutes sharpening the axe and finally shop it down in a minute on stage. It a great experience seeing the axe being sharpened. Now just want to see the Axe in action.

The play is being staged on April 9th at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre. Be there. This is going to be epic.

About Noor Jahan – An Empress Reveals

Actor Oroon Das as Jehangir
This 1 hours 20 min play tell the story of Noor Jahan (born Mehrunissa). She was not only the Empress of India but was an accomplished poetess, designer and an architect. The play takes you through her youth, her deep love for Jehangir, her being widowed, becoming 20th wife of Jehangir and then becoming a captive on orders of her husband. Her life broke several shackles of the society as she was above 30, had a daughter but still became the favorite and most influential wife of Jehangir. Trials and Tribulations of Noor Jahan are captured in this play and it’s a must watch.    


Writer/ Director: Avijit Dutt

Cast: Vidushi Mehra, Oroon Das, Vani Vyas, Yuvraj Singh Bajwa, Anhad Singh Anand, Rea Krishna, Priyanka Sharma, Eesha Singh, Sarthak Mattoo & Shekhar Murugan.

It was founded in 1964 with the sole purpose to project arts as a dynamic living force, provide regular sustained performances of theatre, music and dance, build an interesting theatre audience  by presenting some of the best plays, and establish a theatre club and organize workshops to nurture new talent 

Some Pictures from the Rehearsals

Mehrunnisa's Dilemma. 




Actor Vidushi Mehra Plays Noorjahan and goes through variety of Emotions. 


The Love between Jehangir and Noorjahan is legendary

Noorjahan's Daughter played by Eesha Singh

8 comments:

  1. will it be sold out do you think? would love to see this live next week.

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    1. You can buy tickets here: https://in.bookmyshow.com/plays/noorjahan-an-empress-reveals/ET00040419

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