Post Graduation Course of Acting

Foundation Course in Acting and Theatre-making (Digital)

Performance | Creation | Dramaturgy

The Foundation Course in Acting and Theatre-making (Digital) is a six month, full-time course in fundamentals of performance-making. This course will be conducted completely online and covers handpicked elements of theatre training that can absolutely be taught, practised and applied in the digital format. 

Through the six months, the course will work to develop the following competencies in the student:

  • Condition the body, voice and cultivate the imagination
  • Develop immediacy, presence, and the ability to make a moment of performance that is authentic, engaging and watchable
  • Become strong self-aware practitioners
  • Become aware of the world around them, draw from life – their own, and others and in turn, make work that is rooted in their own contexts 
  • Develop an attention for the specific and for detail
  • Build a work ethic based on rigour, professionalism and focus in all that they do
  • Learn to take risks and to not fear failure 
  • Want to learn more, experience more, and expand their capabilities further
  • Cultivate an Eklavya like approach to learning. They should want to read, research, explore, and continue learning for themselves, beyond what we have to offer them
  • Be able to articulate the questions they should ask, and how to go about seeking answers to those questions

During the course students will:

  1. Explore multiple approaches to skill-building as an actor 
  2. Build an awareness of their physical instrument through body and voice training
  3. Practice the fundamentals of performance-making 
  4. Build the capacity to write with clarity and articulation in both fiction and nonfiction contexts
  5. Analyze the social function of theatre and apply this understanding to the process of creation
  6. Work with facilitators and mentors one-on-one and devise a unique path of learning for yourself
  7. Start the process of contextualizing their work and finding their own artistic voice

The 3 Pillars of the Programme

Performance:

The Foundation Course has been designed to build your awareness as a performer. You will be introduced to a variety of tools to help you build an understanding of your instrument as well as develop an awareness of your environment. The objective is to build physical and mental discipline in order to align your body and imagination to thereby facilitate the act of creation. 

To help you build your toolkit as a performer, the course will introduce various global approaches like the Feldenkrais Method, Suzuki Method of Actor Training, Mary Overlie’s Viewpoints Training, Michael Chekhov Acting Technique and Lecoq’s Technique.

Creation:

The course provides various opportunities for you to apply your performance-making skills to creating storytelling experiences for your mentors, faculty and fellow students. There will be two Creation Labs. The Creation Labs will focus on writing skills and the creation of scripts. We will also explore the possibilities of creating work collaboratively in the digital space.

Dramaturgy:

Dramaturgy refers to the critical analysis of theatre pieces, the process of creation, and consumption and how they fit into the world we live in. The foundations of dramaturgical thinking lie in understanding theatre as a process and performance as a creative output for society.  How meaning is made, how it is understood by the viewer, and how to analyze work critically and dispassionately in order to improve it. 

At DSM, we emphasize the social function of theatre – why is something relevant, what makes it good or bad and most importantly how to apply this understanding to creating performance experiences that are not just aesthetic but also authentic. There is a consistent process of self-assessment and reflection. We focus on critical thinking and analytical skills and their application to the craft of creation.  

To know more about the strands that fall under each pillar, download our Curriculum Descriptor Course Document.

Basic Course Structure:

The course at a Glance/Sample Weekly Timetable

  • The Foundation Course will be spread across four Units of five weeks each 
  • There is a one week break between units
  • There will be 2 Creation Labs, one at the end of Unit 2 and the other at the end of Unit 4
  • The 26 weeks commencing October 12th will go in this flow
Week 0 Orientation
Week 1-5 Unit 1
BREAK WEEK
Week 6-10 Unit 2
Week 11 Collaborative Creation Lab 1
BREAK WEEK
Week 12-16 Unit 3
BREAK WEEK
Week 17-21 Unit 4
Week 22 Collaborative Creation Lab 2
Week 23

The Weekly Schedule:

There will be:

  • 1 Hour of Conditioning Classes 6 Days a week
  • 2 hours of online performance classes 6 days a week
  • 2 hours of classes in writing, theatre studies, and aesthetics 3 days a week
  • Multiple one-on-one sessions through the unit
  • Other public lectures, student performance scratch-nights, and online events from time to time

Thus your week will look something like this: 

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Conditioning 7-8am Yoga

Kallari/

Fitness

Yoga

Kallari/

Fitness

Yoga

Kallari/

Fitness

Class 1 AM 2 HRS

9:30-11:30

Voice Performance Classes Voice Performance Classes Movement Performance Classes
30 Min Self-Reporting Time

Class 2 PM 2 HRS

2pm – 4pm

Writing One on One Sessions with Mentors / Faculty Context for Theatre One on One Sessions with Mentors / Facultys Aesthetics  
30 Min Self Reporting Time Self Reporting Time Self Reporting Time  
         
       

Saturday Sessions (1st 3rd and 5th Saturday of each Unit)

– Curated Conversation
Scratch Nights
Student Adda

 

There will be a maximum of 14 students in movement, voice and performance classes, and 28 students in writing, context and aesthetics classes.

Students will show up for one-on-one times at preassigned slots on Tuesday / Thursday afternoons.

Students will be expected to do 4-6 hours of Self-Work/Home-Work each week for performance classes (movement, voice and performance) and 4-6 hours of reading, research and written work for classes on writing, context and aesthetics. 

Learning in the digital medium with Drama School Mumbai

The Foundation Course has been designed and optimized for the digital space. It is our belief that this is the journey that every student of theatre needs to begin whether they are in a physical space or not. The basic technical requirements for this course are:

  1. Access to a personal computer or laptop, with basic audio and video capability
  2. Access to a personal space in order to attend lectures. You will be given more details about setting up this space for optimal learning once your admission has been confirmed.
  3. A stable internet connection and electrical connections that can support 2-5 hours daily of online classes, access to a backup option for internet and electricity

In order to support your learning in the digital format:

  1. We will share a note-taking format and time will be allotted after each lecture for students to write down notes and reflect upon the session as well as ask questions of the facilitator
  2. Written material, facilitator notes as well as resources for further study will be provided where possible.
  3. One-on-one time will be scheduled with each faculty member, every unit. This is where the facilitator will work with students individually to plan their learning journey, share feedback and address concerns.
  4. One-on-one time will be scheduled with your student mentor at fixed intervals through the course to assess your overall progress and learning journey. 
  5. Strand Leads Irawati Karnik and Kallirroi Tziafeta, as well as Head of School Jehan Manekshaw, will be available to students throughout the six months. There will be specific slots announced as Office Hours, where students can talk through any concerns they may be facing. Additionally, a practicing theatre professional will be appointed as Student Convenor to specifically act as a mentor and guide for each student. 

Informal scratch nights for students to try out individual creative endeavours inspired by the curriculum or otherwise. Additionally, addas will be held every month to create a casual space for students to hang-out, get to know each other and build connections with peers across DSM’s extended faculty-alumni network. 

Academic Team:

The team is headed by Jehan Manekshaw, Head of School. The Foundation Course has been designed and will be led by Irawati Karnik and Kallirroi Tziafeta. DSM’s Faculty is pulled from some of the leading actors, directors, theatre-makers and creators in the country. 

Jehan Manekshaw

BA (Theatre Direction) Wesleyan University | MFA (Theatre Direction) Birkbeck, University of London

Irawati Karnik

MFA, Sir J J School of Fine Arts

Kallirroi Tziafeta

BA (Theatre Studies) Athens Drama School | Physical Theatre & Devising, LISPA

Fees, Bursaries and Scholarships:

The fees for the Foundation Course in Acting and Theatre-making 2020-21 is 1.8 lakh. 

There are multiple need-based scholarships and bursaries available. Please write to our Course Advisor Shruti Arora info@thedramaschoolmumbai.in so that we can take you through the process. 

We also have part-payment and EMI facilities available. Do discuss these with our Course Advisor at the time of confirmation of admission. 

Awarding of Course Completion Certificate:

All students will be consistently appraised of their performance in the Course through the one-on-ones. Additionally, there will be written feedback from each faculty member at the end of each unit. 

To be awarded the Course Completion Certificate, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. A minimum attendance of 90% across all units
  2. Submission of individual and group assignments as required
  3. Meeting deadlines with standards specified by mentors and facilitators
  4. Displaying honesty, sincerity and commitment in all their dealings with Drama School Mumbai

Drama School Mumbai has compiled a list of frequently asked questions so students can know ‘What to Expect during the Foundation Course’. We have also put together a COVID policy in accordance with WHO and Indian Medical Association Guidelines. Visit our FAQ section to know more. 

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