Day before yesterday (1st Sept. 2005) we had an interesting talk. Krishna and I. Was actually glad when he took me aside during the break and told that which I had held holy all my life vis-a-vis theatre speech and had not shared with anyone.
I believe when an actor truly finds the impulse through emphasis on specific syllabic accents than on the entire word and combines it with his emotion, true theatre speech is born. And working on iambic pentameter for Midsummer Night's Dream, I was precisely trying to put it into actors' head. We had a break. Krishna took me aside and highlighted how am striving for that. I had not told him. I have always believed that theatre training should combine music.
Music is not always that which we learn to sing or play instruments. Speech rhythms.
I appreciate the good old Christian practice of sending kids to choir. We used to have it. Send kids to learn vedas and slokas. We have lost that. That instills the feel of music early in one's speech. As a creature of Sama Vedic origin, I can naturally impulse if not music, rhythm in speech... why sometimes even silences or the sounds of nature around us. I pride myself with that.
We value words and learn to value speech. On stage no word should come out if actors don't feel those words. But every word uttered should have belief; for which a realisation of the importance of the words is necessary. I hope Midsummer would highlight that at least partially. At the moment am not at all happy on that front. Porko comes close sometimes. Trupti gets most of the times. Neeta is a bundle of joyful energy and nerve to watch, but she belches out emotions in a squealish way than poetic. Else, Shyam and Srividya and Aditi get that feel for Iamb. But it is either Iamb or Emotion. Never both together. Things either sound poetry rendered or prosody of emotions. God help.