Thursday, 9 June 2016

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Sehar Bhojani

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)

Sehar Bhojani trained in directing with Robert Ross Parker at Hope and Hell Theatre.

(April 25, 2016) I experienced a bitter sweet moment when Disgraced opened at the Panasonic Theatre on April 7th. It was a moment filled with opening night excitement and nerves while also the acceptance that my job, as the assistant director, had officially come to an end. The show has since closed and I find myself feeling that same bitter sweet moment again.

It’s been an amazing opportunity to sit on the other side of the table for this process. I was fortunate to work with Robert Ross Parker who allowed and even encouraged my voice to be heard while crafting this piece. I feel as though I have had a hand in preparing this play to meet a Toronto audience and will forever be grateful to Hope and Hell theatre for this opportunity, and of course, to Theatre Ontario for their generous support and patience during this process.

As I walk away from Disgraced, I take with me a myriad of lessons from the rehearsal room. The most prevalent being, trust. There is no creation without trust. There is no progress without trust. There is no success without trust. It has been incredible to watch the trust grow between the artists in the room every day. With every new discovery of text or character came a new level of trust between actor and director. I realized that as the trust grew stronger in the room, so did my artistic voice. I was able to contribute to the conversations about the direction of scenes with confidence, and was heard by the mutual trust and respect of the other artists in the room.

As I prepare for my first gig as a director this summer, I find myself already drawing on this experience. I am different. Disgraced has changed the way I approach my work and what I demand from myself in the work, trust. I have learned the true power of this word. I must have trust in the artists in the room, in my artistic decisions and most importantly in myself.

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The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 3, 2016.

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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