Feeling nostalgic about village tiatr
Tiatr has retained its vibrant nature with the nurturing of this form of theatre at a village level. The whacky tiatr writer, the melodious singer, an actress full of verve, have all known to have discovered yet another aspect to their personality when they that to the stage in front of a familiar audience.
Misha D’Souza from Calangute remembers that as recently as three years ago attending a tiatr written by a local and staged by the people of the village for the chapel feast in their ward. A face is all smiles as she recalls how the slips made by the actors always draws noisy whistles from the audience. And yes, the time when the boy dresses up as a girl for a scene is attracts whistles that mean to say, “O my, you could never have looked better”. A village tiatr has all the ingredients to kindle the most classic feeling of congeniality.
The loud promptings sometimes leaves an actor into a tinge of embarrassment as he repeats the same. It’s these performances that make you the cynosure of villager’s eyes as they sometimes address you by the name of your character.
Cut to years ago, and the stalwarts of the tiatr stage will tell you how commercial viability was a concept unknown hitherto. With patromax lamps doing the present day task of stage lights, these un-ticketed shows had actors screaming their dialogues as there was no sound system.
The actor with a loud voice was an asset says Tomazinho Cardozo, a tiatr writer and the president of the Tiatr Academy of Goa. The people sitting on the on the ground and often fields was a thin dividing line between the actors on stage and the audiences whose stories were being told by different people.
But things have long changed. Tiatrs still run to packed shows in villages but the striking difference is that the tiatrs are performed by commercial troupes. The tiatr at the village level is a place from which future stars grow informs Tomazinho terming the development as a sad trend that needs to be reversed. He says, “Since the last 25 years tiatrs at a village level has declined, as a result commercial performances reap huge income.
All most all the shining artistes of the tiatr stage are products of the tiatr at a village level. I myself began my journey into tiatr by writing tiatrs for the village”.
Prince Jacob’s latest tiatr ‘Aiz hanv, Faleam tu’ introduces lead actress Rosy Travasso, a talented lass whom Prince Jacob scouted during a performance at a khell tiatr during the Carnival.
Says tiatr writer, Roseferns who began his tryst with the tiatr world by writing scripts for school drams and tiatrs that were staged for the village Church feasts says that “the different reactions we get from the people you have grown along with is different from feedback you receive being part of a commercial troupe. We used to stage a lot of tiatrs with the boys and girls of the village eagerly lending their hand in making it a success. In those times tiatr troupes from Bombay used to come and perform in Goa. It was difficult to stage a tiatr in a village but we used to always pull off one which used to meet with tremendous success. We had problems of entertainment tax (which was later removed), licenses etc. We had no light effects; instead the two bulbs hanging from above served a similar purpose. Today, people do not have time to help in putting together a tiatr. Everyone is so busy”.
Tiatr has an effervescent presence till today. But the need to nurture it at a grass root level is important to get the best. Tiatrs whereby locals act are performed but that’s no enough. The tradition needs to be revived. The Tiatr Academy of Goa has offer schemes offering financial and technical assistance to those willing to organise a tiatr where the people of the village act in it. Besides, there are also offering schemes to schools and colleges to produce tiatrs.
http://www.navhindtimes.in/ Lucasinho Ribeiro’s staging of the first modern Konkani tiatr on April 17, 1892 marked the beginning an epoch in the history of tiatr. Today being Tiatr Day, ‘The Navhind Times' takes a look at one aspect of tiatr—the staging of tiatrs by locals of a village to be performed in the village itself, which is on the wane and highlighting steps being taken to reverse the trend.