Published: 21st August 2019
Love the stage? Why Fortius is the theatre workshop you've always wanted to attend
They also conduct a ten-day intensive workshop of the same format. They also put up plays in Hyderabad quite often and one can catch the duo at the performance
Theatre can be a lot of things for a lot of people. Scary, cathartic, a revelation, and if you take up Coliseum Productions' workshop Fortius, it could also serve as therapy. The theatre group was started by Preksha Trivedi and Dwij Vasavada about two years back. What started as a free Macbeth performance which ran to packed houses, today, well, technically in the month of June, the duo gave the city of Hyderabad a workshop via the medium of theatre, namely, Fortius. "Both of us believe in sustainable living so we thought about integrating it in theatre too," says Preksha who has been in theatre for about 11 years now. Think about it this way, are you a student with an ingrained fear of the stage? Or a sales executive who gets nervous before a sales pitch? Then the activities practised at Fortius could help you with all this and more.
This is how it is: At the workshop: Participants at Coliseum Productions' workshop | (Pic: Coliseum Productions)
"Breathing is the most important part of acting. Your breathing patterns change when you are going through different emotions," says Preksha; so naturally, the workshop begins with breathing exercises. As a participant, you would be expected to think of a range of memories which induce different emotions. "As trainers, we don't ask participants to share what they are going through, we encourage them to open up," informs the alumna of Annapurna International School of Film + Media. This is followed by a personality test. Every person is assigned a colour and given a situation where they need to play a character which stands in contrast with their colour. "This helps them become aware of who they really are," says Preksha and before we can say that it sounds like an acting workshop, she is quick to clarify, "We instruct them not to approach the story as a script or do what is written, we tell them to focus on what they want." The workshop is three days long, intensive and all about performing. Everyone gets to be themselves completely on stage and hopefully, off the stage too post the workshop.
Best team: Preksha and Dwij | (Pic: Coliseum Productions)
The duo travelled all the way to Mumbai before embarking on the journey to start Fortius to train in breathing modules, voice and body movement exercises including character building and memory exercises and more. This helped them sink their teeth into theatre therapy. "Many people are unhappy because they can't be open and their true self. So these workshops help them come out," explains Preksha who, along with Baroda-based Dwij, is going to put up a show on Ayn Rand's Night of January 16th before launching the third edition of Fortius next month.
There are various aspects of life that theatre could help with:
- Confidence: Of course, performing on stage in front of an audience instills a certain confidence
- Body language: It helps you become more conscious of how and what you can convey through your body language
- Empathy: It helps you step into the shoes of another character and understand what they are going through
- Teamwork: A very important aspect of working in schools and in a corporate environment in the future
For more on them, check out facebook.com/coliseumproductions