SILCHAR, April 20 - The weeklong workshop on �Theatre Appreciation: Theory and Praxis� organised recently by the Department of English, Assam University, Silchar, to acquaint students with the dynamics of drama not merely as a text, but also with its applied aspects, including theories of drama and performance outside the ambit of academic lectures drew good response.
Over 40 participants, including students and research scholars of the department and also from other departments of the varsity, were seen taking lessons on the nuances of drama at the workshop. Sharing his views with this correspondent regarding the importance of such an initiative, on the sidelines of the workshop, eminent theatre personality and an alumnus of the National School of Drama, Salim Arif, who was the director of the workshop, said, �Assam is gifted with natural and cultural diversities. But in terms of theatre, there is very little representation at the national level. Theatre is a composite art and almost 90 per cent of the manpower in other forms in the entertainment industry comes from this genre.�
�It was an astounding experience to look into the same text in a different context and also to know about the notion of theatre the participants was interesting,� he added.
Besides, recommending more centres for enthusiastic youths to practise theatre, Arif laid stresses on the need for a cultural policy together with spontaneous public participation to augment the potential this form of art has in the State.
Noted theatre activist of Barak Valley and a resource person of the workshop Shantanu Paul said that the workshop was significant since similar workshops were already held in Tripura University and also at Tezpur University.
Dr Dipendu Das, Head of Department of English and chairman of the workshop said, �It is indeed a proud moment for the Department since this is probably the first of its kind in Assam University, when a department has decided to host a theatre workshop. This workshop is an addition to our repertoire.�
Congratulating the department for coming up with such an initiative, Professor RR Dhamala, Vice-Chancellor in-charge of the varsity, said that theatre performance portrays crucial aspects of our society and life which is the best medium to communicate ideas to the audience.
Dr Sib Sankar Majumder, faculty of the department and also the coordinator of the workshop, said that the sessions were designed keeping in mind the fact that proper appreciation of dramatic texts in literature is incomplete sans providing a window into the performance aesthetics of a drama text. He said that the participants were given vital inputs on acting methodologies, stage craft and direction in the workshop. Also, there were discussions on the history and historiography of theatre, including points on the basics of dramaturgy as well.