Monday, 17 April 2017

Ameet Chana - Miss Meena & the Masala Queens - Observing the process

Miss Meena & the Masala Queens is a new play about British Asian drag queens.

For this production I had the opportunity to observe the pre-production process in more detail. This involved attending script sessions with Director Pravesh Kumar, writer Harvey Virdi and Dramaturge Brendan Murray as well as observing design meetings.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Ameet Chana: Pyar Actually (Rehearsed Reading) - Director

Building on my Rifco Associate experience I was asked to direct a public rehearsed reading at Watford Palace Theatre of a new play by another Rifco Associate - Pyar Actually by Sukh Ojla. 

This involved casting sessions and three days of rehearsals with the writer and three cast members - Buckso Dhillon Woolley, Stephen Henry and Rekha John-Cheriyan, followed by three public performances. 

Photo credit: Nazish Bana

Monday, 27 February 2017

Sukh Ojla: Pyar Actually - Rehearsed Reading

After a week of rehearsals with three actors, a series of rehearsed readings of Pyar Actually were held at Watford Palace Theatre on 24th and 25th February.

These readings were open to the public and audience members were encouraged to leave their feedback.

The readings were directed by Rifco Associate Ameet Chana and starred Buckso Dhillon Woolley, Stephen Henry and Rekha John-Cheriyan.

Photo credit: Nazish Bana

Friday, 1 July 2016

Ameet Chana: Laila The Musical - Assistant Director

I was given the opportunity to have an in depth look at the full creative planning cycle for a mid-scale touring production - Laila The Musical and had an active role in bringing the work to the stage. 

This involved attending and participating in script meetings, design meetings, readings, castings and rehearsals for the production.

During rehearsals and tech run I provided assisted the Director Pravesh Kumar, scheduling rehearsal call and note sessions, conducting line runs with cast and working closely with Stage Management.

Photo credit: Richard Lakos

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Jessica Lucia Andrade: Brownie Club - The performance

I applied to Arts Council for two weeks R&D for a director and myself to work on my ideas for Brownie Club. And I got it! 
So for the last two weeks I have been playing with lots of ideas and story lines. We worked through a physical time line and an emotional time line of ideas and feelings of what being brown is like? Also asking questions about identity, what makes me Indian? Where do I fit in society as a British Asian and  more specifically a British Goan. 
We worked on ideas on and around the silk, working with it technically and working with it as a piece of fabric, and storytelling devise. Vicki Amedume (my circus mentor) came in and helped with the movement pieces on the silk, the tone, timing and flow. Allie Ho Chee (another aerialist) came in to help choreograph and so I could see what it was like up in the air. 
We worked on my relationship to the silk and physical movement has always been my escapism. We recorded me speaking about gymnastics, dance, school and growing up in Essex. I wrote a list of questions I get asked all the time and worked with Composer Jon Whitten to make it into a song. We like it so much we showed it at the scratch. We came up with so much material that we will develop for the full length show.
For the scratch performance we showed a silk sequence of joy, juxtaposed with a voice over of me talking about being bullied in dance class. Then Jon played some joyous music while I danced on the silk. 
The next section I was rhetorically asking the audience "Am I a shit Indian?" and using examples pros and cons. 
The third section was the song of questions I get asked all the time, which was done in a cheesy musical style as some of the questions were quite offensive we wanted  to create a lighter atmosphere and show how ridiculous the questions were. 
The fourth section was - The Brownie Club guide to surviving drama school, which was performed on the silk and used 10 examples I experienced through being a British Asian at drama school. I ended my scratch performance by speaking directly to the audience about what the Brownie Club was and why I created it.

I really enjoyed performing my piece and felt a good response from the audience. It was amazing to part of the British Asian Festival  and showcase some of my work. Thank you Rifco! 
I will be developing the full show later this year, watch this space! 😉

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Sumerah Srivastav: Bollywood Rose - One week to go

So two and a half months later after numerous meetings, heated creative discussion, writing, rewriting plus the distraction and gluttony of christmas, we finally have a musical extract that - dare I say it - everyone is happy with!

Holly and Pravesh have done an amazing job in casting for our piece and Ajay and I are super excited about meeting and working with these amazing artists in the rehearsals next week in anticipation for it's public presentation on the 22nd to a capacity audience woohoo!
It's going to be a nail bitingly big workshop with 4 cast members and 3 musicians. What could possibly go wrong?? Don't forget to look out for the nervous writers at the back :)