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Theatre Arts as a career and academic discipline

If you are interested in Theatre and want to pursue it as a career, you must be facing a lot of discouraging remarks about the lack of career opportunities, Theatre losing its relevance and "theatre can be a hobby but not a profession".

But if we look around, there has been an explosive expansion of fields and activities related to Theatre. At the commercial level, a lot of events are happening, which require the skills of set, lighting and other aspects of theatre design. Corporate agencies are looking for training at various levels in personnel management and presentational skills, where an acting teacher can be very useful. The demand for personality development and the skills of diction, speech and body language is growing everyday with the boom in new service sectors like call centres. Film and Television need a constant supply of new talents. For a skilled Theatre artist, all these are opportunities, if only he can mould his capabilities to suit the particular context.

At a different level, Theatre Arts as a subject in schools is gaining prominence. The subject is seen to encourage children's imagination, communication skills and confidence. NCERT is about to make it a standard subject in all schools. NGOs and other organizations involved in the community development activities have been using Theatre not only for awareness but also to facilitate self-expression and assertion, as a means of empowerment. Theatre is seen as a way to access the means of culture production. These are expanding fields and need a lot of volunteers, practitioners and trainers.

Even in the area of Theatre as an 'art', there is unprecedented access to resources both from the national and international funding agencies. The boundaries of Theatre are expanding to meet with other arts like dance, painting, sculpture and film/video. Multi-lingual and Multimedia productions are exploring different areas of experience and expression.

There is also a lot of international interest in the study and research into the performance practices in India, facilitating scholarships, internships and jobs with Institutions and companies all over the world.

In order to make use of these changing cultural, professional and commercial realities, and to succeed in following a path of his choice, a Theatre artist needs to have concrete, tangible skills and the intellectual ability to mould his/ her skills to the particular requirements in the area of his/her choice.

MPA- Three Year Masters Programme in Theatre Arts

The Masters in Performing Arts programme is a rigorous, full time three-year course. This course trains the students in the practical and theoretical work so that they understand and practice theatre as a unique form of artistic communication. The core components are designed to provide hands-on experience of all the areas of theatrical communication and their possible application in different contexts and in relation to other arts like painting, sculpture, music, cinema, etc. The course tries to encompass the whole spectrum, from classical to contemporary, traditional to commercial, and folk to the digital.

Outline of the course components

Arts, Aesthetics and Society (Modern to Contemporary)

History, Theory and Text (Classical non-Indian/ Classical Indian / Traditional/ Folk/ Realism and after/ Contemporary Approaches)

1. To understand different forms of artistic expressions, their processes, contexts, grammar and to relate them with theatrical expressions.

2. Significance and multiplicity of theatre activities and their relationship to their contemporary history and culture

3. How different theatre forms struggle for space within the same period and culture.