By Shwetha K Rao
As performing arts are becoming popular by the day, artistes are constantly venturing new pathways to connect to audiences. In Bengaluru, a theatre actor is trying to bring back the Black Box theatres of the 60s.
Rajashree has founded VYOMA – a ‘black box’ theatre space, based in JP Nagar, Bangalore. Black Box theatre is a form of experimental theater space with black walls and a black floor which takes place in an intimate space, with small audiences. The black box became popular as a place where ‘pure theatre’ can be explored.
Rajashree stated that she thought of reintroducing black box after she felt that artistes needed more spaces to express their ideas.
“Though the facilities available in are pretty good compared to a lot of other cities, it is still not enough,” she said, speaking to TNM.
Black box theatre, she says, provides infinite possibilities.
“You can create this space into whatever you want to. A fixed auditorium cannot give these facilities. We cater to regular stage-audience format as well but here there is an opportunity to explore various possibilities,” she said.
She told TNM that she wants to make art more accessible to all groups of people and not limit her audiences.
“I believe art is for everybody. I want to explore the possibility of height in a space by bringing in concepts such as aerial dancing as well apart from other performing arts and give audiences something new which they wouldn’t find on a regular basis.”
Sharath Parvathavani, the co-founder of VYOMA, told TNM that Black Box theatre is a deeper exploration of a space and provides an intimate experience between the artiste and the audience.
“Everything is magnified. You can see the audience closely, they can see your expressions, so that gives a different experience to the actors as well,” Sharath shared.
Sharath added that they want to make audiences a part of the creative process of a performance and build a circuit.
“It helps in educating the audience on how to appreciate a piece or performance. And once it builds their perspective, then different kinds of performances will start happening because the audiences would have evolved so much,” he adds.
Rajashree shared that their long-term goal is not to build a huge auditorium but to replicate intimate theatre with small audience capacities and make it self-sustainable in order to reach more people.
“If this can become a trend, letting people explore the arts is going to be far easier. I want everybody to know what experiencing art feels like. It should not be restricted to anybody. If there are more artists, the world is generally a happier place,” Rajashree said.