SETU launches Café @ SETU, an educational initiative this weekend

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Jayanti Bandopadhyay

WALTHAM, MA–Stage Ensemble Theater Unit, known as SETU among the theater community for their dedication and commitment to experimental theater, is launching Café @ SETU, a new  educational initiative this weekend.

Dhananshree Ramachandran
Dhananshree Ramachandran

Café @ SETU will launch its first initiative Theater 360º – an interactive workshop series with distinguished theater person Debra Wise, an actor, director and playwright with over 30 years of association with theater.

With over 30 productions under the belt, Wise also mentors prominent educational programs like Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT- the ongoing Science Theater project at MIT and Art Works For Schools in collaboration with Harvard University’s Project Zero. She has taught theater in various informal and formal settings such as Tufts University (Theater and Active Citizenship), MIT and Northeastern.

She is the founding member of Underground Railway Theater. Debra has planned an exciting outline for the workshop that will touch many subtleties of performance arts.

Subrata Das
Subrata Das

“With her endless enthusiasm and countless ideas Debra has been an inspiration to the entire theater community in New England. We couldn’t find more suitable person to kick-off the Theater 360º workshop series than Debra,” said Ramachandran, a core SETU member.  “SETU is really like an academy and now we are taking the educational drive of SETU to the next level with Café @ SETU.”

Along with being SETU’s educational wing, Café @ SETU is also committed to provide a platform for budding ideas to go through the complete process of execution in the supervision of the best in the field, Ramachandran said.

“What audience sees on stage is one part but along with that I think every production is an open dialogue about purpose, commitment, passion, sharing and growth that shapes the creative notion to be a refined expression. In my five years with SETU, I have personally experienced and seen so many theater enthusiasts turning into fine craftsmen,” said Ramachandran.

Debra Wise
Debra Wise

Thirteen years ago, Subrata Das and Jayanti Bandopadhyay founded SETU with a mission to bridge gap between the East and the West through theater, SETU has presented blockbuster productions like Kamala, R3, Mahabharat, Shahjahan and Once Upon A Time Not In Bollywood and many small productions since then.

With over 150 members including actors, production artists, writers and performance artists , SETU is one of the largest and prestigious theater communities in the area. While the ensemble nature of productions challenges veteran artists to take their craft to the next level, it allows beginners to explore various aspects of theater in depth and with the same intensity.

“Everything related to theater is so experiential that the only way to learn about it is by experience. Participants will learn valuable skills like using voice to make an impact, effective body language, moving with awareness etc. through interaction in the workshop. These skills are

Jayanti Bandopadhyay
Jayanti Bandopadhyay

important in real life as well as on the stage. So the workshop is open to all,” said Ramachandran.

Entire cast of SETU’s upcoming production, Ramayan (October’16) along with other theater enthusiasts is expected to attend the workshop this weekend. The workshop will take place on Sunday, August 7th from 1-4pm at 585 Pleasant Street, Belmont, MA. The cost is $10 per participant. Please contact café@setu.us or 339-203-3767 for registration, details or questions.

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