Monday, April 03, 2006

Stagecraft: From Script to Stage - Volume 1

This will be a continuing series of blogs that will cover the development of the play I am working on. Inspired by the Production Diaries and Behind-the-Scenes videos on newer DVDs, I have decided to showcase some of the drama behind the dramas that are put up on stage.

Even though this first blog on the play is labeled volume 1, it is actually more like volume 50. But seeing as how I only started blogging about two weeks ago, I suppose this numbering scheme will work. So then, where to begin? Well... with any play, the first key thing you need is a script! In 1990, my dad and mom put together a team to perform the play, "Double Game" in Marathi. It was a fun five months where I had my first experience working on the production team. I worked in the sound booth. However, because the Marathi audience in Washington is not extremely large, we could only do one show.

Flash-forward 15 years and lots of things have changed. The local Hindi theatre scene is thriving and we have numerous projects going on. One key thing that varies from show to show now is audience and so the ultimate aim becomes creating something that will appeal to a wider audience. Language is a major decider in what amount of participation you will get from an audience and seeing as how English is the universal language, I decided to look into doing a play in English. I wanted to do something I was familiar with but also that could translate well into English but that would also retain some of it's Indian origins. "Double Game" struck me as that play.

Not being able to read Marathi was a challenge, so I took the old video we had filmed of the play in 1990 and used that to help translate the play. I sat down for about a month or two spending my evenings with my laptop and TV and translated and adapted the script. Once I was ready, I gave it to my family and some friends to review and got their input on it. Now that the new committee of Natya Bharati is in place, I figured it was time to approach them with the project. Pulling together a speculative budget, some possible backdrop and production considerations as well as getting some friends and family to help me in reading the script to the committee, I was able to put together a good presentation.

The committee had some feedback which I have incorporated into the script and now, as Spring rolls into the picture, so does the next step in the process..... casting!



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