What happens when a roomful of strangers read out their love letters to each other

British and prolific writer Lewis Carroll made a typically astute observation when he realized that humans can be defined as “animal writers.” Carroll was delighted with the idea of ​​the reading room, an initiative of the theater company Anuja Ghosalkar, DramaQueen, which invites members of the public to read the letters they have received, sent, or desired.

The reading room was born when Ghosalkar took a break to perform the first production DramaQueen Lady Anandi – a show of a woman who uses the story of Ghosalkar’s great-grandfather, Madhavrao, actor theater of the nineteenth century. “Mrs. Anandi is so exhausting because so many of me come there,” Ghosalkar said. “So I thought, if I had done very little and invited the audience to take their stories to life? I love the lyrics as text and reading as performance.I wanted so you gather archival documents and make sure others involved in Performance. ”

Since its creation in February, the Reading Room has completed six sessions, the latest of which are organized at the India Foundation for the Arts in Bangalore June 23,

The sessions follow a similar pattern: Ghosalkar selects about 25 letters, from writing love letters by Karl Marx, letters from the first Indian Ambassador to Russia to the world trade between the head of a transport company and the captain of a vessel requesting the license. It is separated into numbered envelopes according to their tone and content.

He also asks members of the public to bring him their own letters. He then performs a second act of conservation, putting the letter of each participant with the letters on containing that resonate emotionally. Each participant reads the contents of the envelope provided. Everyone present in the reading room to read and the boundaries between audience and artist are blurred.

Ghosalkar explained that the letters he cures to are “different in tone: O were aggressive, trades, or love.” It also hopes to show the gradual evolution of the use of language through the incorporation of letters from different eras.

Although the letters with the highest emotional story were selected in mind, the contributions of the epistolary participants add an unpredictable bow to each session. Most of the letters that are members of the audience bring communication between parents and children. “In my previous one, I thought I was going to keep the love letters because I found it a bit obvious,” he said. “However, many people have brought letters of love. I had no control over that.”

The participants’ letters are full of personal stories and intimate emotions. In one of them, one participant wrote: “You and we are never sure and we are going to talk about” us “because there is not any of us, but I also know (maybe I am a sentimental fool) that we have a deep connection that goes further I love you very much, always, maybe even from the first time we met.

Since participants randomly assigned envelopes, people rarely read their own letters. Instead, they listen to their personal stories read in foreign voices and untrained. “There is something absolutely wonderful when no actors read,” Ghosalkar said. “They read without affecting, and pretend. It is really in mind that the documentary theater is the most naked.”

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