Sunday Reading # 2

Second reading today at UAF. We have decided to keep it free for all. We want the children to have fun listening to stories being read aloud. After a lot of search, found the right book for it. Sweet and Salty. I found this book left alone at a book donation drive. No one to pick it up? I was there! I sat alone in a corner reading… and soon I got so much attention, because i was almost rolling on the floor laughing. It was hilarious!

This book is written by Sandhya Rao and published by Tulika Books.

The famous storyteller, Gorannagaru, is in the village to recite the Ramayana. Bangaramma forces her husband, Penchilayya, to attend. Tired and sleepy, he goes quite unwillingly – and finds the stories sweet one night, salty another! Bangaramma is intrigued . . . A gentle folktale from Andhra Pradesh about the magic of stories. The illustrations derive from the style of and colours used for making the traditional Kondapalli toys of Andhra Pradesh.

We had a rip roaring time laughing and listening to the trials of Penchalayya of Narasanpeta. Please pick up a copy of this book here.


Sunday Reading # 1 – A Friend for Bolton the Lion

Anu and I were looking forward to read the play – A friend for Bolton the Lion. We began having fun reading the script together. We read it out to some friends, and decided to open out the reading to others as well. Soon heard the thrilling news from the agents of the playwrights Erik Schaffler and Uwe Schade who gave us permission to read plays for children.

The script was really fun and collaborating with Anu was really interesting too. After nearly 20 years, we got back on stage together. It was the first reading for children at our new space – Untitled Space.

My friend Lovise watched as did my father. It was just the best morning… getting back on stage as an actor .. I felt at home… I felt free…

Anu and I realised that this was something we had to do for children. Read stories to them every month. So we have begun our work. We will be reading the next month on 5 March 2017. Get ready!

Liam Neeson, Warwick Davis, Rickey Gervais, Life's too short. rules of Improv Comedy, accept the gift, yes and, pregnat pause, schinder's list, Obi wan Kanobi,

Acting class: Liam Neeson

In my drama class, I use videos to demonstrate how great actors use principles of acting and it almost turns into a master class. While there are many differences between being on the screen and being live on stage, they are great master classes.

I find Rickey Gervais’s webseries Life’s Too Short – like a mine for these master classes on comedy. My middle school children are trying to work on comedy and improvisation. We are beginners at this, and I find that hte hardest to practice is the first and second rule of Improv

  1. Accepting the gift.
  2. Going with the attitude of Yes And!

Quiet often our own personal remarks short ended and end the scene, or worse – lead no where. Liam Neeson is a great example of this.

This whole sketch is full of pregnant pauses. In comedy, a pregnant pause is a technique of comic timing used to accentuate a comedy element. David Letterman (whom I love) has perfected the act of pregnant pause. In this, Ricky Gervais has used it to show discomfort as a character.

Liam shows how even a good improv actor can be dragged down if the basic ideas of improv are not followed.

In class:

  1. Talk to the students about the two rules of improv theatre
  2. Watch the sketch
  3. Discuss the different elements of comedy and identify them
  4. Ask students to identify what elements of improv are being used in the sketch.
  5. How is Liam resisting improvisation.
  6. Discuss what we do to take the story forward or not.

Have a look.

Upcoming in Pondicherry: Actor’s workshop at AdiShakti

AdiShakti has announced the dates for the latest SOPE – in January 2017
3 – 12 January 2017

– – – HOW TO APPLY – – –

To initiate the process of booking please send us a small CV and acceptance letter by email. For further correspondence please write to the following email address:

Or call:

Apoorva : +919047530689

Nimmy: +919487514962

As seats are limited, send in your forms early. On hearing from us regarding your selection, book your place by sending an advance of the full fee.

Fee will be INR 45,000/- including lesson fee, accommodation on a twin sharing basis, food, laundry, etc.

For wire transfer / bank transfer the details are given below:

Name of Account Holder: Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Art Research
Account Number: 05640200027975
Account Type: Current Account
Name and Address of Bank: Bank of Baroda, No 58-60 Vellala Street,
Pudhucherry 605001
MICR Code Number: 605012002
payments by demand draft should be payable to ALTAR or Adishakti and posted to:
Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Art Research, Adwaitam,8 Appavou Nagar, Vazhakulam, Pondicherry 605012,India

We request that foreign nationals contact us at the coordinates below before initiating any payment transaction.

Before making either wire transfer or demand draft payment please intimate us at
the following coordinates:

Email :

Apoorva : +919047530689

How to reach Adishakti
You can reach Adishakti from Chennai (the nearest airport and main train station) by road. It is a three hour journey by bus and a two and a half hour journey by taxi. From Bangalore there are direct buses to Pondicherry which take approximately seven hours.
The Adishakti Campus is 8 kilometers from Pondicherry and is 100meters off the Chennai-Tindivanam-Pondicherry highway/ the Bangalore-Tindivanam- Pondicherry highway.
Should participants need to be picked up from Chennai we could engage taxis which would meet them and bring them directly to Adishakti. A taxi charge for such a pick up is approximately Rs.2700/-,79.790767,18z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3a5366d09c954a8b:0xcdafc887f69c9e7d!8m2!3d11.9872884!4d79.7924137?hl=en

Upcoming in Bangalore: The Royal Hunt of the Sun


Upcoming: Centre for Film and Drama is coming up with a new production – Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun – designed and directed by Prakash Belawadi. This show is on in Ranga Shankara between 9 – 11 December 2016

Ashok Mandanna is set to play Pizarro. Wonder who is cast as Atahualpa Inca.

Nataka watch maadi!