Theatre Comprises more than the actors, producers and directors who receive most of the publicity. There are many more people involved in a theatrical production. Electricians and sound engineers create and handle the light and sound effects. Scenery and props are built, arranged and moved by technicians and are designed by set designers.
Practical aspects of production are organised and run by the stage manager and his/her assistants, the costume designer takes care of the clothes. In essence, there is much more activity behind the stage than there is before the audience. The actors, directors and producers express ideas and images in theatre, making the words/story come alive in front of the audience. There are also publicity managers and other managerial and organisational staff tying up various loose ends coordinating between the varieties of professionals involved in a theatrical production
Although many people have the technical skills and training to enter theatre, very few receive the opportunity to display their talent.
Nature of Work
Producers are the entrepreneurs. They choose the plays, arrange financing, and decide on the size, cost and content of the programme. They are responsible for raising the money for the production.
Directors interpret the plays. They are in charge of the actors, dancers, designers, singers, technicians, etc., working in consultation with the producer and playwright. They are responsible for the performance of the actors and also approve the scenery, costumes; departments then work from these drawings and also from scale models of the sets.
Designers are responsible for the sets and costumes. They work closely with the director and produce drawings of sets and costumes. The scenery and costume departments then work from these drawings and also from scale models of the sets.
Actors entertain and communicate directly with the audience through their interpretation of dramatic roles. Although actors may prefer a certain type of role, they usually try different kind of roles before they can get established enough. In fact, there are very few actors who Ultimately find a toehold in the profession. The imitation or basic development of a character for presentation to an audience often seems like a glamorous and fairly easy job. In reality, it is demanding, tiring, work requiring a special talent and to be contemplated by those who feel they could not possibly be happy doing anything else. Being an overcrowded profession, almost all actors require a second source of income.
Stage managers are responsible for the smooth running of rehearsals and productions ensuring that properties and costumes are ready when required. They are responsible to the director, during rehearsals for implementing of his/her instructions. Many directors start as stage managers. During the run of the play stage managers are in charge of everything on stage and backstage.
Lighting designers in a large production work with sophisticated equipment and are part of a team headed by an expert who will design a lighting plan. Electrical qualifications are important.
Production staff takes care of the various production workshops; in a small production person may handle the various jobs.
Theatre demands total commitment. Work hours tend to be irregular. There is not much guarantee of steady employment. For an actor, flawless performance demands tedious memorising of lines and repetitive rehearsals. Directors, producers work under stress most of the time trying to meet schedules, stay within budgets, and resolve personnel problems while putting together a production.
In an ideal situation, actors, producers, lighting designers, set designers, costume designer like to specialise in one genre of period dramas, comedy, tragedy or modern plays. But to continue to get work in an area of choice is not possible so most actors, producers, directors and others who love to work in theatre end up working on a large variety of roles and plays and in the process develop versatility.
Physical and Psychological Requirements
Passion for drama, creative ability, keen interest in the performing arts are common character traits for those who wish to work in theatre.
Producers require tact, persuasiveness, sound business sense, flair for organisation and a clear intuition of what will 'sell'.
Directors need creativity, a strong character, a strong sense of theatre, and the ability to direct
And weld together a team of people to unfold the play in front of an audience.
Theatre and costume designers must have thorough knowledge of period settings and costumes, a sense of style, the ability to work within budgets and to adapt to a variety of stage shapes.
Stage managers should have good organising ability, tact, calmness in crisis, good memory, an eye for detail, a practical approach and an interest in both the literary and the technical aspects of a theatrical/dramatic production.
For actors, directors professional training in the dramatic arts is essential. However, there are many People who enter without it. Working in college and school plays and participation in drama productions has been the training ground for a number of entrants into theatre. Using local opportunities to work with small theatre groups is the best way to start. .
Drama schools and universities offering Dramatic Arts programmes are the formal learning opportunities but skills have to be refined and upgraded through personal study, experience and research. Entry point is either Plus Two or graduation.
The foremost theatre training institution, the National School of Drama has a comprehensive, well-planned syllabus. Students are given a thorough grounding and a wide perspective of the art of theatre. They are exposed to a systematic study and practical performing experience of Sanskrit Drama, modern Indian drama, traditional Indian theatre forms, Asian drama and Western drama. Admission to NSD is only after graduation.
For University Drama courses
Educational qualifications required are either Plus Two/ equivalent level of education or graduation. In certain cases, admission into the Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA) is after matriculation.
Other selection criteria include a good command over language, preferably Hindi and English or regional languages and English or Hindi.
Duration: Full-time formal acting courses normally last 2 to 5 years depending upon the level of entry. Admission is through an audition, interview and aptitude testing. Previous participation in drama productions at the school level and/or with amateur organised groups is either preferred or a prerequisite depending upon the institution.
Entrance Test [wherever applicable] is expected to include a written test to assess an applicant's knowledge and an awareness of the world of theatre as well as his/her power of expression in a language. The aptitude test may include an oral analysis of plays provided to the applicant, enactment of dramatic passages, display of skills in dancing, singing, playing of instruments, yoga, etc.
These indications are meant to help you to be mentally prepared for the selection to drama course. Real education starts in the actual workplace, while a formal course is helpful to understand and study techniques, refine skills and learn the ropes of the profession.
Prospects are not very bright except for the exceptionally talented and lucky few. Recently there has been noticeable revival of interest in theatre. Innumerable opportunities exist but the number of aspirants is so high that there are very few who are well established and have carved out a niche for themselves in theatre. Salaries in theatre are not high.
As the reputation of actors, directors, producers, and other theatre professionals grow, they are able to work on larger productions or in more prestigious theatres. Actors may be able to get lead or specialised roles.
In theatre growth or existence of opportunities does not mean much since there are always many more actors, directors and producers than there are work opportunities. Although many actors, directors, producers and others may continue to work in theatre all their life, they almost always have a second source of income. Many leave theatre after a short stint, not finding enough work to make a living.
Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA); 62 Gower Street, London WCIE 6ED
The Central School of Speech and Drama The Embassy Theatre, 64 Eton Avenue, London NW3 3HY
Screen Actors Guild, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90036-3600
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists-Screen Actors Guild, 4340 East-West
Hwy., Suite 204, Bethesda, MD 20814-4411
National Association of Schools of Theater, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Suite 21,Reston VA 22090
LIST OF TRAINING INSTITUTION
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University,
Maharashtra [estd. 1958]
Fax: (0240) 334291
Cable: Marathsity Aurangabad
3-year bachelor of dramatics
Also: Certificate and diploma course in dramatics.
Film TV Institute of Tamil Nadu,
1 years acting
Passing in the secondary school leaving certificate/ equivalent examination with eligibility for admission to Plus Two.
University of Hyderabad
P.O. Central University
Hyderabad 500046 [estd. 1974]
2-years master of performing arts in theatre arts
Eligibility: Graduation in related subject.
Andhra Pradesh [estd. 1918]
1-year PG diploma in theatre arts
Eligibility: Graduation with 40%; having knowledge of Telugu and stage experience
University of Rajasthan,
Rajasthan [estd. 1947]
Fax: (0141) 511799
4-Years bachelor of fine arts in dramatics certificate in dramatics
PG Diploma in dramatics
Eligibility: 12th standard (HSC)
Eligibility: 12th standard (HSC)
Faculty of fine art
Rabindra Bharati University,
Emerald Bower Campus,
56/A B.T. Road,
West Bengal [estd. 1962]
Phone: 25568079, 55673028
3-year BA honours in drama
2-yearspecial honors course in drama
2-years MA in drama
Eligibility: plus two/HSC
Eligibility: BA (Pass)
Eligibility: B A Honors in Drama
Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts (autonomous Training Institute, Dept. of Culture, Govt. of U.P)
A-2/58, Vishal Khand 2,
2 years full time diploma course in dramatic arts professional training in theatre
Eligibility: (i) Graduate from a recognised university
(ii) Minimum 2 years experience of active theatrical work of acting in at least five plays/direction of two plays/back-stage work in three plays, familiarity with dramatic literature having read at least ten Indian full-length plays.
(iii) Age limit: 18-35 years.
Ashok Kumar Academy of Dramatic Arts,
Mumbai [contact 47 Union Park, Cembur 400071]
Different courses in dramatics for adults an children
Children-no specific qualification required.
For adults: 12th pass unless exceptionally talented. Entrance test.
University of Mysore,
Karnataka [estd. 1916]
Phone: 421555, 420677
2-year diploma in dramatics
SSLC or pre-university
National School of Drama,
New Delhi 10001
3-year diploma in dramatic arts, seats: 20, 4 reserve for SC/ST.
Rs. 2000 as monthly scholarship to all selected students.
(i) Graduation in any subject from a recognised university in India.
(ii) Participation in at least 10 productions
(iii) Working knowledge or Hindi & English
(iv) Between 18-30 years (upper age limit that can be relaxed by 5 years for SC/ST candidates)
Sound health with medical fitness certificate from the BSD doctor and insurance people is one of the important prerequisites and preconditions for admission since the training provided here is rigorous and demands physical hard work to acquire professionalism.
Selection: preliminary test usually conducted at Mumbai, bangalore, kolkata & delhi candidates qualifying in this test have to attend a workshop of 3-5 days in the NSD premises for their final selection.
Payable: DA, II class train/bus fare from residence to Delhi and back by shortest route.
Asian Academy of Film
Marwah Studio Complex,
FC-14/15, Film City, Sector-16A,
Phone: (91) 4515254/55/56
3-months acting & presentation
Imago Acting School,
3 months full-time diploma course part-time certificate course
Pondicherry 605014 [estd. 1985]
Phone: 655177, 655184
5-years bachelor of performing arts [arts]
Eligibility: class X
Jyoti Vihar, Burla,
Sambalpur 768019 [estd. 1967]
5-year BA in drama
Faculty of Performing Art, M.S University of Baroda Opp. Drug laboratory, Shastry Bridge Road, Fatehganj,
Gujrat [estd. 1949]
3-years bachelor of performing arts [BPA] master of performing arts in dramatics master of performing arts in action &direction
Eligibility: 12th standard (HSC) and aptitude test
Eligibility: bachelor of performing Arts in dramatics (BPA)
Listing of indicative
Note: Interested candidates are advised, in their own interests to pursue specific information like details of admission procedure, domiciliary restrictions, time for applications, duration of training/internship, etc., from the concerned institution directly or keep track of the notification in the national/local dailies and publications like Employment News/Rozgar/ Samachar.