• Kaivalya Plays

StoriesAsia; Closed Curtains, Open Screens: Theatre During Lockdown in India

We're happy to share that our newest digital theatre production of Fin Kennedy's How To Disappear Completely And Never Be Found was featured in StoriesAsia by Tarini Mehta.


Read what our artistic director Varoon P. Anand has to share about the experience of building a digital play in the lock-down and all that went behind-the-scenes to realise the project successfully.

For Varoon Anand, the Artistic Director of Kaivalya Plays and a well-known name in the Delhi theatre circuit, this has been a busier than usual time. Since June 2019, the company has been conducting monthly improvisational theatre workshops for mental health, under their Improv for Wellness series. Now, they have taken those workshops online and do the weekly sessions through Zoom calls.


Interestingly for them, going online has actually proven to be better. They have more control over the room. They can mute anyone who makes the space unsafe. Those who are shy can turn their cameras off when they want to watch and not participate. It is also more accessible for people with physical disabilities.


Recently, Anand’s group also performed a full-length play, “How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found,” on video call. Each actor did their bit from their homes using the space of their own little window on the screen. The play was originally scheduled to physically go up in March. And even COVID-19 couldn’t stop them from adapting and getting it out there. 


“If you watch it, you’ll see there are a lot of mistakes. But it’s all a part of learning to adapt to a new medium,” said Anand. 


“We discovered and incorporated a lot of cool ideas,” Anand continued. “For example, if the doctor’s character flashed his torch, the other actor would use another source of light to illuminate his face to make it look like they’re in the same space. One major issue with rehearsing online, however, is screen fatigue. It is exhausting. If we were doing four-hour rehearsals in person, we could only do two-hour sessions online.”

We thank Tarini and StoriesAsia for featuring our journey and to the entire cast & crew of HTDC for coming together to create something special.


Read the full article on the StoriesAsia website here.
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