Greek Tragedy Masterclass

Nitasha Rajoo, Director Observer

“Do not fear for me. Make straight your own path to destiny.”― Sophocles, Antigone

Whenever I go into an actor’s / director’s workshop, you get the onset of butterflies in your tummy, the anxious palm sweating of ‘Will I be good enough?’ or ‘Was this the right choice?’ My first Tamasha Masterclass was a complete awakening to the creative spirit and I wanted to ride this wave for a bit longer and decided to take this master class.

I should point out – I don’t like Greek Tragedy. I find it stuffy and daunting and overdone…badly. I want to like it..so I thought this could do it for me. I was right.

The class was small and intimate, which I loved. Annie created such a safe environment that put the nervous butterflies at ease. The class was practical…on our feet working with the idea of levels, and bringing physicality to a character. I loved the stick work; I had practiced something similar in a workshop I did with Told by an Idiot. The choral work we did was amazing, and watching as a director observer/ when the actors turned and walked to the audience in unison was very powerful.

Annie helped break the wall with Antigone, bringing it into a modern day spotlight helping us conceptualize the themes and journeys the characters faced. I completely appreciated this and saw this as a great learning tool. When we stumbled and apologized, Annie said: ‘Stop. Rehearsals are for mistakes to be made. There is no need to apologize’. I take that away with me because it is so true..thats why the nervous butterflies are there – because we are so scared to fail in front of our peers. Funny thing though, when you try and flop, is when you learn the most.

Do I love Greek Theatre now? I don’t know if I would go that far but I can now honestly say I have a great appreciation for it, and Annie made that possible.

Anurita Heer, Participant actor

Participating in the Greek masterclass was an enriching experience. I wanted to take part to see how I would respond and create through using Stanislavski based techniques in tackling classical texts. For some actors such techniques and methods are an invaluable tool for them whereas for myself I do not find myself subscribing to set ‘methods’ and so this class was a great learning experience. At some points, there was a great emphasis on ‘working from the outside in’ and using this to merge and engage with fellow actors was very interesting. I also had the chance to teach an Indian dance move to my fellow actors to observe how we can use physical movement to create various rhythms and a sense of cohesion as actors. Many of these exercises reminded me of the cohesion and sense of creation one creates as a group of dancers and so I was able to draw parallels and make connections. As an actor, I also observed that I was able to adapt and play freely with Annie’s teachings as she was very open and as in all Tamasha masterclasses, there was the opportunity to flop, get up and try again.

Cathy Conneff, Participant actor

The course really helped to put me back in touch with the reason why I act – the sheer pleasure of it and the experience of sharing a moment with an audience and another actor. It also helped me in terms of not overthinking (a terrible habit of mine!) and accepting and following an impulse without trying to adapt it to my ends!

Veejay Kaur, Participant Actor

This class was a great intro to different approaches to perform Greek Tragedy. The exercises were playful and empowering which helped to physicalise the language in ways that I wouldn’t have even imagined. A great class for those who want to familiarise with Greek tragedy. I left feeling enthusiastic wanting to explore more Greek texts and to perform them.

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