Theatre Awardee 2017: Rency Philip
Rency Philip is one of the two recipients of this year’s Theatre Awards. In the blogpost below she shares her love for puppetry and theatre.
Physical comedy and storytelling converged early into my theatre practice, leaning towards clowning, mime, puppetry and masks.
When I started working with rafiki, Bangalore in 2010, I began animating objects for theatre productions. We started improvising with found objects. Later, we built paper mache masks, shadow puppets, properties, and even parts of the sets – fashioning them with our hands and not just our imaginations. Of course, we had sculptors and artists watching over us to contain our enthusiastic endeavours and guide us towards a harmonious scenography.
I have been part of children’s plays such as The Fabulous Adventures of Aditi and Friends (2012) and How Cow Now Cow (2015) that incorporate shadow puppetry and object theatre. The projects I have undertaken are mostly ensemble-based and this is a format I enjoy working in. Throughout the process of ideating, scripting, and devising the play, the puppets and masks are always my collaborators, my co-actors. If I considered them any other way, they would lose their enchantment.
Each puppet has its own personality. This leads me to explore the insoluble nature of puppetry performances itself: who is the puppet, who is the puppeteer and who manipulates whom? I want to study the relationship between the puppet and the puppeteer and the multiple levels of consciousness that they share. I hope to delve a lot deeper into the world of puppetry.
As much as I revel in playing with the puppets, I am equally fascinated by the construction, whether it is a marionette on strings or a domestic object improvised to be an animal. I would like to study how master puppeteers are able to envision, construct and manipulate a puppet.
I have been following Katkatha Puppet Arts’s work since 2012 when I first watched ‘About Ram’ and I resonate with the work they do. I am looking forward to training under Anurupa Roy in Delhi in 2018.