Trainging Program – Objective and Idealogy

The Indian Ensemble is a theatre company based out of Bangalore. One of our key wings is the Indian Ensemble theatre laboratory and Training Program. The Program is an effort to bridge the gap between an active society’s engagement with theatre and the need to train properly in this art form.
The program is currently in its second year. The program is an extensive one year long theatre course, where participants from different backgrounds come together to train as actors, writers, directors, and also work towards creating their own theatre.
At the training program, the only criterion to get trained is commitment. Participants have to show a high degree of commitment towards the theatre and a willingness to work hard to train. Our students range from professional actors and writers to people who professionally are working in other vocations but are extremely serious about pursuing this art form as a way of life.

Consequently, this program has the following tenets at its core:

a) Cultural Diversity: The Program is geared towards the understanding that people from different backgrounds inhabit our city and hence our theatre. There are people who have been brought up in Bangalore, in interior Karnataka and also from different parts of the country and the world. Hence Everyone’s cultural background, aesthetic and language is different. Hence the program encourages the participants to work in their own language and context. In our classes the participants explore the theatre in their own languages and aesthetic context. Hence, our presentations invariably have pieces in English, Hindi, Kannada, Punjabi, Tulu to name a few spoken languages which obviously also come with their own performance language.

b) Economic and Social Access: The Indian Ensemble’s training program has found a co-operative way of running itself. The participants are not entitled to pay anything for the course in general. The reason for this is that, we have participants of different ages and social or economic backgrounds. The only eligibility to be part of the Indian ensemble is to be able to commit in terms of time and effort.

We have a fee structure, where the participants can pay nothing, Rs 500, or Rs 1000 as and when they can pay. A participant can pay once a month, every other month or never at all based on their circumstances. The fee never becomes an impediment. The core faculty does not charge anything for the classes and the corpus which is collected goes towards paying for the workspace, the guest faculty and towards other material cost towards the projects that the participants pursue. Our current workspace is ‘Ranga Madu’ which is an arts centre behind IIM Bangalore. The centre charges us upto Rs 200 for a session and monthly the Ensemble settles its account.

c) Social Responsibility: Indian Ensemble stems from a sense of social responsibility. Since the course is free, it is compulsory for our students to teach in an underprivileged arts or education centre as part of course work. Currently we have tie –ups with Hippocampus learning Foundation, Makalla Jagriti, Swagath Communtity centre and Parinam Foundation for conducting theatre classes on a regular basis based on a proper pedagogical approach.

In the seventh and eighth month of the program, when the students have already undergone some training, they devise curriculums for these centers in collaboration with the faculty. The students are divided into batches of three, wherein each batch has at least one person who speaks the local language of the school, be it Kannada, Tamil or Urdu. The students then pursue the pedagogy to further work with children who do not have enough access to arts education.

There is no remuneration involved and the Indian Ensemble reimburses the travel costs of the participants from its corpus.

These three facets , that of ongoing training that acknowledges cultural diversity , access to people from all walks of life and the need to further give back to society is what this program is fundamentally built on.


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