The Life of Gautama Buddha and the 3 worlds of theatre

IMG_4288There are three worlds that come into existence when a theatrical play is staged…. How well they form their existence defines the play…..

At the end of the play the first world shatters into smaller worlds and moves on; the second world is lost trying to transform itself to its pre-play form of existence… and the third world continues and grows beyond the play….. a bit complex, Isn’t it?

IMG_4262Let us get a bit deeper to look at these worlds and as the pictures suggest I am writing this piece as I just watched this magnificent theatre spectacle called “The Life of Gautama Buddha” directed by Lushin Dubey and starring Lushin, Saatvik, Denzil Smith, Bubbless Sabharwal, Santosh, Nandakumar, Ankit and others. The play was choreographed by Santhosh Nair….

The First World
So the first world is that of the actors who become the characters…. this is the play as it is staged, a world that is inspired, written, directed, choreographed and played as per a predefined structure… but for the audience a new world comes into existence… even for the actors every play is an entry into a new world where even a predefined structure looks so new, more meaningful and energizing than the earlier one…..

IMG_4283That is why you also see the same actors play the same play over years, some with same crew sometimes with different crew…. ask a film star if he wants to make that exact movie again for double the fee, he will say no, because it is boring…. that is where theatre builds that huge wall which film can never climb up to….. and even for actors the latest film should disappear into the oblivion for their career to move on…. that is the name of the filmy game….. the life of a theatre play starts with its first IMG_4368staging and grows from there on….. through actors, directors, choreographers, dancers, singers and the multitude of audience it delivers a new world and new experience every time it is staged……

‘The Life of Buddha’ created a splendid first world for us here on Thursday Oct 2nd……

This first world at the end of the play shatters into smaller worlds that then live in the head of the actors weaving the lessons into the creation of the next new world for the next stage….

The Second World

IMG_4343The second world is the world of the audience… the crowd that attends…. they can be small or big, they include passionate theatre lovers, but also people who came there to see it but prefer movies over theatre, and then some those who just ended up there…… Typically for a movie you find all this crowd making the second world but for most theatric plays it is often the passionate crowd who attend…. So this second world is the collective aspiration of the audience….. a connection among people who understand that theatre is the mother of movies….. this world is quite well interlinked because based on the location it is staged there is possibility that the crowd is familiar with each other…. which makes it IMG_4303clear that this second world existed even before the play, but its nature is now going to change….. once the play starts this second world starts transforming… the smiles of the people in the world, their recess conversation, the silent nods of appreciation and acknowledgement all slowly build up on the fabric of this world….

At the end of the play the second world gets very interesting…. it tries to transform itself back to its original state of existence and fails…. the world is not the same with the stamp of the play in it…… Yes, the Life of Gautama Buddha did weave so much character and connectedness into the second world because it was crafted to be a collective experience…. and the second world in the SF bay area is not the same anymore……

The Third World
The Third World is not just one but many but I can talk only about mine, this is the world that gets created in my mind as a member of the second world…. you can call it as the impact of a play….. as the play progresses some people walk into your mind and work with your mind to build this third world for you…. Denzil and Saatvik were the main IMG_4370builders of my third world and of course the directors Lushin and choreographer Santhosh played their part…. and then the characters also play a major role… this is the time when the actor and the character becomes two different people as I start communicating with them separately…. both with Saatvik and Buddha or Denzil and King Suddhodana all at the same time…

The Third World does not end and at the end of the play it moves on and becomes independent of the play…. it starts growing in you…. it assists you in your creative exploration and your sense of self discovery…..

IMG_4383‘The Life of Gautama Buddha’ has created a world that is still growing, as it gives me meaning beyond the play and the stage….. One thing evident is that this blog post is a result of that third World born after the play “The Life of Gautama Buddha”

If you have this play coming anytime in your town… please make sure to go and watch…..

My best wishes to every one for bringing this show to life…….. I know that the actors I named here are incomplete, there is a much larger crew both on and off stage and my sincere apologies for not recalling everyone’s name….. but you all have been fantastic….. take care…..


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