mind adventures

an experimental theatre company set up in sri lanka in 1999.

the scene

there’s a not very good article in last week’s mirror mag about our new show ‘samurai’. when i say not very good, i mean that for instance the writer quotes me as saying that there is nothing original about my play. i find it amazing that sri lankan journalists don’t carry dictaphones. random distortion of the facts is not an issue apparently.

i had been talking to her about how all the staging conventions of ‘samurai’, from the stage to lighting, make up and costume, have been adapted from traditional japanese noh theatre. new pics from our dress rehearsal here.

mind adventures, as a company, have been experimenting with pretty much every theatrical genre i could think of. to test audience reactions, to test our creativity, to test our capabilities. more than that, to discover how to reach not just an english speaking minority, but the whole country.

the very nature of a fringe theatre mindset (the no-money-don’t-panic syndrome) demands that we experiment, and it has given us a lot of freedom in terms of the subject matter we could tackle. i believe it is imperative for anyone who is interested in making theatre their full-time profession, to continually learn and have new experiences – ‘adventures’ is what we call it – with different forms of expression.

mind adventures is nine years old this year. during this time, i’ve come to realise that its no longer fulfilling enough for us to stage only english language productions. our audiences and critics have always been appreciative and i think it will continue to remain our main focus. but i want to do more, and so this year marks a return to a form of theatre that has fascinated me since i was a teenager, and which became a downright obsession once i left university.

physical theatre, performance arts, call it what you will. our first such production was ‘ubu rex’ in 2001. there’s a review of it in our ‘reviews’ category. and since then, i’ve experimented a little more in the productions i have done with ladies’ college. but nothing major really until now. until ‘samurai’ and ‘the boy who spoke in numbers’. you can find out more on our ‘about’ post.

This is mind adventures’ last production on the fringe. we will be absorbed into the wendy whatmore academy of speech and drama, and focus on youth theatre initiatives. this is why ‘samurai’ is such a departure from the usual tone and complexity of the plays we have staged in the past.

our productions this year are all political in one sense or another. ‘samurai’ is about greed and corruption, ‘boy’ is about displaced people, racism and war. ‘into the woods’ which is a more mainstream musical, warns about the consequences of wishing to live ‘happily ever after’. these particular productions have been chosen because we believe they communicate the subject matter outstandingly. neither too heavy, or too light but with sensitivity and humour.

all three productions will be extremely physical, and while ‘into the woods’ and ‘samurai’ will be performed in english, ‘boy’ will be mostly physical and will include tri-lingual narration.

it is my hope that by experimenting as much as possible with these plays and a wide variety of performers, i will be able to evolve a style of playing with my actors, that will enable us to eventually go on the road, tell our stories and reach every community – irrespective of language.

anyone got a massive circus tent for sale or hire?

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3 Comments»

  Sanjana Hattotuwa wrote @

You just reminded me of how much I enjoyed Ubu Rex and I can’t believe it was so many years ago. Still think you should have used some ink in those balloons! Looking forward to Samurai.

  deshan wrote @

And more pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shehal/sets/72157604236602034/

  javajones wrote @

Keep on keepin on Tracy. I’m real sorry to miss this one – unavoidable. Maybe on the re-run?

Cheers!


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