BHOPAL: The new academic session of the MP School of Drama (MPSD) began from Monday, making it the first art institution in the country to begin regular classes. It is also the first institution of higher learning in Madhya Pradesh to start holding in-person classes.
The students, selected by the MPSD after a long process of auditions, were initiated into the art of theatre on the first day of the session.
The classes were held in the open on the premises of the School, with the students sitting on chairs in a circle. The day began with an interaction between the students.
In the first class, they were introduced to Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial art form of Kerala. It was followed by a class on mime. Next, the students were told about the basics of makeup.
Dasrath Das from Jharkhand said he had to convince his parents to allow him to come to Bhopal. “I assured them that I would observe every possible precaution,” he said. Dasrath was very excited interacting with fellow students from the other states. “It is just like a cultural exchange,” he said.
Daysagar Dharua from Odhisa praised the ‘courage’ of the School management. “It is creditable that they have decided to hold physical classes amid the pandemic when all the other institutions are teaching online and artistes are going into depression having nothing to do for the past nine months” he said. Dharua said that his parents were not particularly enthusiastic about him joining the field of theatre. “But when I got selected, they felt that I have achieved something and allowed me to move to Bhopal,” he said. “Covid kaal mein kuch to acchha hua,” he said.
Shubham Gautam from Lucknow was equally excited. “We got to learn many new things on the first day itself. I am feeling great,” he said.
Antima Soni, who was associated with a theatre group in her native town Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, was happy with the steps taken by the institution to keep the students safe from the Coronavirus. “The premises are neat and clean, we are being subjected to thermal scanning and have been asked to sanitise our hands frequently,” she said.
Pooja Malaviya from Bhopal was feeling ‘energetic’. “In the morning the Director of Culture talked with us about bonding. He told us that unless we learn to bond with others, we would not be able to become good actors because theatre is a team work,” she said.
Every year, the new session begins from July. However, the beginning of the session has been delayed by almost five months this year because of the corona pandemic.
The primary selection workshop for admission to the school was held from October 29 to November 1 while the final workshop was held from November 4-7.