Actors Koneenica Banerjee and Rwitobroto Mukherjee shared acting tips with students at a five-day celebrity webinar hosted by the Xaverian Theatrical Society of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, from December 23 to 30, 2021.
The virtual event titled Theatrixmas also saw choreographer Minu Haque speaking on dance dramas, theatre director Manish Mitra joining a session on music and RJ Agni talking about radio drama.
“Acting can be learned at any time. Teachers are required for studying, but the class never ends. Daily practice is essential. I am still learning something new every day. Also, as an actor, you must be aware of your surroundings,” said Koneenica.
“The tranquil sounds and the serene frames within the chaos of mundane are what amplify every gesture, step and movement in the dance forms. Dance is transforming what we feel entirely into what we can see,” said Haque.
Takeaways from students who attended the webinar
Theatrixmas was organised to introduce us to various aspects of theatre. We were taught the principles, morals, essence and intricacies of the theatrical journey.
— Souparna Sarkhel, a third-year Mass Communication and Videography student of St. Xavier’s College and secretary of Xaverian Theatrical Society
Koneenica Banerjee and Rwitobroto Mukherjee guided us on drama, Minu Haque taught us about the richness of country dance. This was exactly what we had in mind while planning this workshop.
— Sonalika Goswami, a third-year Mass Communication and Videography student of St. Xavier’s College and assistant secretary of Xaverian Theatrical Society
Rwitobroto Mukherjee spoke about the importance of script and how to grow as an actor. We were taught various exercises with our eyes, emotions, body movements and voice modulation that we will practise.
— Himashri Basu, a second-year Computer Science student of St. Xavier’s College.
I learned the basic difference between Rabindra Nritya Natya and other types of dance drama. The performances gave me an idea about how to use expressions while performing in a dance drama. I also got to know about various folk dance forms of Bangladesh and a bit about their culture.
— Sakkhip Pal, a second-year Chemistry student of St. Xavier’s College
The webinar series helped us to work on our amateurish approaches. I realised how important it is to observe everything. These observations will help me in the process of internalising characters. Koneenica Banerjee helped us understand that we can learn from every person and circumstance we come across. This is what helps every actor to portray the diverse realities on the stage. The beauty of being an actor lies in living the life of others, yet being yourself when you do so.
— Soham Sengupta, a second-year Sociology student of St. Xavier’s College
It was a wonderful opportunity for each one of us to be a part of this workshop. The best thing was that we could interact with celebrities. I learned how actors can play more than a single role from one moment to another with different emotions by just altering their voice.
— Manishka Basak, a second-year Mass Communication and Videography student of St. Xavier’s College
Manish Mitra explained the word “theatre” through an interactive session. He mentioned that theatre becomes theatre only when the participation starts from an audience. It is a participatory celebration with a very vibrant living energy. Theatre consists of living resonance, an energy that is generated by the psychosomatic body of an actor and is transferred to the audience, a core component for theatre and as the energy gets transferred the audience starts responding to it. Manish Mitra also highlighted the contrasting features of a theatre and a film. Theatre has no past and future, it gets modified with time irrespective of space, actors, lights, music as the vibrant living energy gets altered.
— Soumyajit Ganguly, a third-year Biotechnology student of St. Xavier’s College