Hi! I am Rahul. I am a Theatre Artist trying to create a space for practice-based research in Indian academia.
This is my backyard of ideas and experiments
Research Interests: Theatre of the Oppressed; Postdramatic theatre; Ethno-fiction; Posthumanism
Note: The following two performances are part of my coursework with Dr. Angus Mcblane. We are attempting to explore the questions of authorship and posthumanism through theatre.
Orlando: A Posthumanist Performance (Oct 2022)
One of the ways in which posthumanism is understood is that humanity, indistinguishably, is embedded in the world of technology. In posthuman, as Hayles writes, there is no difference between bodily existence and computer simulation or cybernetic mechanism. The postdramatic way of looking at the same philosophy would be to look at the “form” of the performance where the focus is solely on the relationship between the actor and the audience. In this theatre, the character or the plot is of no relevance. Just as posthumanism is a departure from anthropocentrism, postdramatic theatre is a departure from drama. For this theatre, I will use the literary structure of Krapp’s Last Tape and adapt the story of Woolf’s Orlando to it. The audience will be asked to use individual earphones and given three choices while witnessing this performance: 1) The normal spectatorship (to watch the performance as it is) 2) Listen to the character (to hear the inner voice of Orlando through earphones along with the performed voice) 3) Listen to the actor (to hear the inner voice of the actor through earphones along with the performed voice) As described above, through the intervention of technology, this theatre wants to give the audience “access” to the vulnerable and naked self of the “fictional character” and the “real” actor.
Tell me your despair and I will tell you mine (Oct 2022)
Theatre, as Ann Ubersfld calls it, is a paradox. At once, it is both a literary work and a physical representation. Theatre as a text is eternal, reproducible, and identical while as a performance, theatre is momentary and never identical to the previous performances. In this dual existence of theatre, who is the author? Is the author the playwright who writes the dramatic text, or the director who orchestrates the performance, or the actor who embodies the text? In this research, I propose to contextualise the duality of theatrewith the authorship discourse through an experimental performance and a consequent reflective essay to ask: what happens to the idea of authorship in theatre if the distinction between the actor and the audience is erased? The audience will be asked to produce a text under an anonymous virtual alias. The text, as it is being produced, will be read and performed by the actor. The audience who are also collectively “authoring” the text, will watch this performance and write further until everyone has contributed with one input each. The cycle of writing, reading, performing, witnessing, and writing will continue until the end. The intention is to create a dynamic system of writing/reading with the embodiment of the text through the actor. The actor is giving up the power to the audience to write the spoken word, stage instruction and direction while still keeping the agency of interpreting that input and performing in the chosen manner. This rapid conversation between the actor and the audience also creates a conversion of authorship.
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