The Shillong Repertory
The Shillong Repertory Theatre was launched to add value in developing life skills, theatre development, education and employment within Meghalaya. There will be few areas of initiation that it will conduct workshops in, as it’s aspires to develop the rich cultural theatre scene that slowly will be growing within a couple of months both nationally and internationally; a workshop for theatre and a workshop for employment.
The Shillong Repertory Theatre brand launch on Feb 14, 2015. At Asian Conclave, Shillong
Mr. Tarun Singh Negi, Founder and Artistic Director of NE Forward Socio Ventures launched the Shillong Reportory Theatre (SRT) as a brand to empower growth, to creating sustainability and to create a conducive environment for both social and economic development within Meghalaya.
What is Passion and Motivation and if it is interrelated?
Passion is the way of life that everyone has. But passion has to be informed. It should grow with age then only can it be nurtured to be used to its fullest. There cannot be just one motivation but an overall inner motivation that is important for development. They are interrelated- both passion and motivation, grow with time as you learn to know your strength and weaknesses and realize how to overcome those weaknesses. The rest is knowledge and the application of that knowledge. It’s the use of information that you gain from experiences with passion and motivation.
Mr. Tarun Singh Negi, Founder and Executive Director of shillong repertory theatre
How important is Arts Integrated Learning in youth development? How do you hope to channelize this creativity across to the students in these workshop you are creating?
Theatre in education especially from Class I to Class XII is very important. Theatre is not just a medium for those who want to pursue a career in theatrical arts or acting. It is more or less an overall development. Actors are an evolved lot, they learn to communicate through their bodies, their voices, their senses and their intelligence, which they learn to adapt to various virtual worlds in a humble and honest way.
Children have the core essence of honesty, which is inherent in theatre. They are very receptive in understanding and very hopeful. Also their imagination is very strong. If they learn the right way of expression and communication, it will go a long way in shaping their future.
How do you encourage or breakthrough the stereotypes of theatre or acting in Shillong especially where it is taken as a hobby and not as a lucrative career and how do you hope to sustain and make it grow as the film industry in Manipur or even as Mumbai?
I am here to inspire and create a social environment and also it’s not more than just adaptation but what is important is to preserve the existing aspect of various cultures and add value to it. It’s like the saying ‘repackaging the old wine in a new bottle.’ It must be the candidates; they must like the idea of theatre to come with an open mind not just for acting. Theatre provides a perspective to be able to make a decision and a platform whether to follow the lucrative art of theatrics, where it’s not just about acting as a whole but an overall development of the self.
Mr. N. Munish Singh, ICCR regional officer mentions SRT initiative creates a real form of structure and sustainability
Even though acting teaches you about enacting a part and to have a better understanding of playing a role, there is more to it. There are the plays, the production, the crew and the actors. It provides an opportunity of growth within the body of productions; involve as one seeks to even grow in their individual capacity. But that can only be achieved once they are involved in the workshops that we conduct. Then only they will have an understanding of their abilities on how to collaborate after the workshop, where it is not just about acting but maybe they might have other hidden talents.
In Shillong, there is a need of promoting and increasing the readership of books by local writers which has been on a steady decline unless proactive measures are taken to promote it. Will you be providing opportunities for local writers to contribute to SRT?
Literature is one of the most beautiful aspects just like any other art form that captures a moment like a painting. People, who have contributed to literature, should not be forgotten. In Theatre, there is a lot of emphasis of collaboration and conservation of writers. Yes, we will be doing so, in working with local writers.
Each generation is reading less and with the advent of the internet, it has changed the dynamics of reading. Theatre is entertainment just like movies. It has always coexisted and helped in creating interest mutually. Theatrics has always been inspired with visions of writers. This coexistence happens when a person watching a movie that is taken from a book goes ahead and buys the book and tries to re-imagine the various scenes while reading.
Performing arts and visual arts coexist to conserve the field of writers.
In these workshops you would be enriching the process to engage in the learning process. How different is it compared to Soft Skills especially in Youth Development?
In soft skills, we talk about the general skills which we are going to be catering to, in SRT. NE Forward Socio Ventures is not only a skill development company but also helps to sustain the brand SRT through advisory businesses, social enterprises and such. We try during the workshops as one is enrolled whether skilled or unskilled or even physically challenged to help them to work.
Our contribution is to connect with the candidates and tell them what skills they have. To identify their potential and be able to guide them not just in their acting abilities but also explore their potential in writing or communication skills and refer to them to take further training with various institutes that are empanelled with the government.
Dondor Lyngdoh, independent filmmaker. Mentions it help to develops the acting pool that already exist of talented young and old individuals.
NE Forward Socio Ventures is a consortium of businesses not just restricted in Meghalaya. We are basically setting up service sectors within Meghalaya and plan to go forward into North East. Meghalaya is a pilot project. These employment workshops are to help identify suitable candidates where they do not need to migrate but to conserve, develop human resource and give them independency through our venture. We even employ people within our organisation as we cater to various institutes of B2B to B2C.
Since Meghalaya is rich in the applied art scene which is inherent with the culture. Will there be a permanent location where we can anticipate these upcoming shows?
We have a couple of locations that we will be using The Asian Confluence, Laitumkhrah, then in Jaiaw and in Mawroh. But also, we will be working all around Meghalaya, similar in ways, as other mobile theatres.
As the environment develops, we will be also be offering various Master-classes with the National School of Drama, with whom we will be collaborating. Also, various independent and celebrity practitioners like Nasserrudin Shah, Barry John and others. They will be talking to the candidates of these workshops about the careers in art & theatre and also how to use theatre to develop their self-esteem.
We, however, do not have a play in mind to release as of yet but we are willing to meet likeminded individuals to device a play and draw a story from their communities as a whole.
As a production house, SRT will be travelling to Australia, Singapore, Bangalore and Mumbai in the months of October 2015 which we are aiming, as we choose the story, the casting and make the team. Making Shillong a world destination as a campaign where it’s part of India, and experience the true colors of India as we move forward.
Picture Credits : Frank & Frank Productions.