Training at the National School of Drama
The National School of Drama provides a three year full time post-graduate diploma course in dramatic arts.
The central aim of the course is to prepare the students in the practice of theatre. To this end, a variety of practical skills must be developed and a corpus of knowledge acquired. While all areas of study are assessed separately and a high standard of work demanded in each, the most important objective of the course is the development of the intangible concept of creative imagination and its expression within the collective framework of a group.
Subjects of Study
Modern Indian Drama
- Development of modern Indian Theatre from the mid-19th century with an emphasis on the contemporary theatre scene.
- Regional language theatre : theory and practice.
Classical Indian Drama & Aesthetics
- Understanding of Indian aesthetics, history of Sanskrit drama, detailed analysis of select Sanskrit plays and interpretation of the Natyashastra in terms of its dramatic structure, its performance and audience in the ancient period and its significance to contemporary theatre.
- Study of major critical theories of theatre and application of these to written and performance texts from different periods of history. The primary focus is on European theatre with cross reference of Asian, African, American and Australian theatre.
Voice & Speech
- Exercise in speech to achieve breath control, clarity and audibility. The aim is to create modulation and range in voice and speech for the stage and enable students to perform a variety of roles with ease.
- Through the practice of asans, kriyas and pranayam, Yoga aims at physical fitness, an increased degree of alertness, grace and concentration, and the full use of voice capabilities and breathing.
- Modern movement trends in theory, practice and their pioneers.
- Learning the principles of Shilpashastra and Natyashastra.
- Expressions of human experience and activities through the mind and through the body language such as gesture, postures and movements.
- Abhinaya (traditional acting principles of India) through physiological observation and expressions of persons, objects and scenic properties.
- Aims at enhancing the sensibility of music in students through the knowledge of various sounds and rhythmic patterns and evolving it from the dictates of the play and their own environments.
- Inculcating a sense of stage music in aesthetic terms and as a ‘Total Theatre’ concept based on theatrespecific uses.
Acting and Improvisation
- Drawing out, moulding and refining each individual talent by shaping the actors’ bodies and voices, sharpening their imaginations and sensitivities and tapping their emotional resources.
- Enhancing the awareness of the environment and experiences, and laying a foundation of techniques and skills in acting.
- Placing the major codified theories and methods of acting at the disposal of students.
- Development of theatre in East with special emphasis on theatre forms in the Natyashastra, in South-East Asia, China and Japan.
- Contemporary theatre architecture and stage design in the East especially portable and fixed open-airtheatres and other architectural conventions suited to Indian conditions.
- Evolution of theatre forms and stage designs in the West from the Greek to the Modern periods.
Scenic Design & Stage Technology
- Concepts and philosophy behind design.
- Ideas and methods of stage designers.
- Stage construction and stage techniques.
- Basics of set-design and making models.
- History of costumes, interpretation and style.
- Objectives of lighting
- Lighting plan
- Lighting equipment
- Elementary study of electricity and handling of the switchboard
- Techniques and sensibilities for developing a theatre language
- Developing imagination by making small ‘etudes/studies’ involving music, props, sets and lights.
- Developing and understanding the structure of plays.
Appreciation Courses and Workshops
- Apart from the above courses, the School also organizes appreciation courses and workshop sessions on different aspects of Indian art and culture, sociology, philosophy and history for the students.