EDDS workshop on acting-2
English Department Drama Society (EDDS) of department of English at the University of Dhaka is usually recognised as a platform of extra curricular activities by the students. It actually tries to provide the students with new confidence and ability to face the world. We have a number of examples of shy students who were scared to do even a small presentation in class. But after being a part of a production of EDDS, they become the popular faces among their fellow classmates and in the department as well. Sometimes the real name of a person is lost as we call him by his character's name (like we used to call Nirjhar Da by the name of Mr. Petkoff of “Arms and the Man”). We the active members may not realise it now, but in our future professional lives, applying the teachings of our director Ms. Tahmina Ahmed will help a lot. Yes! So it's with all the seniors who are working in different universities as teachers or are engaged in other professions. All of them are well known as good organisers in their respective fields.
As the university remained closed for a long time due to the blockades in the country, EDDS decided to wake its members from the hibernation by arranging two weekly workshops titled “EDDS workshop of acting-2” last month. Actually it was a continuation of the previous workshop “Introduction to Acting” conducted by our alumnus and former member of the society Upol Biswas Apu held in September 2006.
On 17th February 2007, the executive members of the society started the workshop with the
“Mirror Game” in which pairs of students has to imitate the other. And then each one of them was given a specific character on which they had to act instantly. Nirjhar Adhikary alias our Nirjhar Da then introduced the basic ideas of stage to the students and he also showed the “V” technique of moving on stage. “Row your boat” was the next activity where the participants had to row boats and also be careful of not blocking any person around him. Some members of EDDS come to me saying that they are interested more in learning the backstage works and were scared to act on the workshop. Well, fellow mates, if all of you don't know the basic stage movements you will never be able to work on sets and lights. We are planning to hold another workshop of backstage basics, but not before each one of the interested EDDS member knows the stage very well. Nirjhar Da is currently teaching in Notre Dame College and is the Moderator of Notre Dame English Club (NEC).
On 24th February it was really great to have Moni Bhai among us who made the participants of the workshop dance to the beat of a khol and play the musical chair game. I enjoyed seeing all the participants laughing their heads off when Moni bhai showed the technique of using different facial expressions. Often new actors don't feel comfortable to show the real emotion on stage thinking that they would look ugly! But one cannot be a good actor unless he is able to bring out the real emotion of the character forgetting about his own looks. The “Blind Partner” and “Getting in groups” games were also much interesting which taught them the use of space on stage. We were glad to have Nehrir Apu with us who is currently doing her PhD in literature from Boston University, USA. She did not want to leave the chance of not being close to EDDS where she used to work as the General Secretary when she was a student of the department. Moni Bhai is best known as Moniruzzaman Akhand in his professional teaching profession in The State University where he had already directed a play on a departmental occasion.
I would like to welcome all the new buddies of EDDS on board. To be a part of journey, you have to know your fellow shipmates. It's not only about acting, it's about knowing the department very well where you will be studying for the next 5 years, it's about making friends with both your seniors and juniors, it's about absorbing all that you can get from our teachers- whether being a good organiser, a good student or a good human being. We expect all the members to attend the activities and monthly meetings of EDDS. Our forthcoming event is the Intra Drama Competition. Don't you miss out the chance to show your talents! Bon Voyage!
*The writer is the President of the present Executive Committee of EDDS.