Prabhat Bhaskaran

New Performance
2009-2010

Grant Period: Over seven months

This grant supports Prabhath Bhaskaran–a director, actor and theatre researcher–to explore the idea of physical pain through a re-visioning of Samuel Beckett’s Act Without Words 1 and Act Without Words 2. Prabhath and his team will have the opportunity to develop a full-fledged production which will represent and express physical pain in various forms.

The team will start by literally fragmenting the body, with its different parts performing various actions, to develop a sense of the complex mechanism of the body. Using games introduced by Roger Caillois in his book, Man, Play and Games, actors will be helped to identify and represent in performance ‘fictionalized’ bodies in pain in contrast to normal bodies. This attempt to explore physical pain will be innovative in the context of contemporary Malayalam theatre, where the “body is usually looked upon as ‘traditional’ or ‘contemporary’ but very rarely a performer concentrates on the ‘living’ body that deals with everyday movements…”

The open-ended structure of these Samuel Beckett scripts will allow Prabhath’s team to experiment with diverse body movements and generate new meanings related to their own context. In an effort to give the narrative on physical pain a thematic structure and generate new perspectives on pain and suffering, Prabhath will relate Beckett’s scripts to an influential story, Yzur, written by the modern Argentinean writer, Leopold Lugones.

The proposed production will be premiered in Calicut in October 2010

This grant was made possible with part support from Bhaskar Menon.