On Monday, November 4, actor Kalyani Nagarajan joined the THAR 160 Humanities Learning Community, a year-long class for first-year students (both majors and non-majors) interested in studying theater and dance. Kalyani turned the lecture hall into a wild playground, leading us through a series of games designed to illustrate Indian Ink’s core principles of ‘serious play,’ which in turn linked with core THAR 160 concepts of ritual and sacred space.
Then on Wednesday, October 6, the students got to see Kalyani in performance as the lead character in Mrs. Krishnan’s Party at the Green Music Center, a partly-improvised, immersive performance. The Green Music Center stage was reconfigured into its intimate ‘Loft’ formation, with an audience of 140 on stage, which was transformed into the back room of Mrs Krishnan’s convenience store where garlands decorate the ceiling, music flows and Mrs Krishnan is throwing a party like no other. Food simmers on the stove, laughter abounds and strangers become friends in this joyous celebration of life. Kalyani and co-star Justin Rogers juggled cooking, music and guests in an unfolding drama where no two nights are the same. The THAR 160 students had the unique opportunity to be taught by the artist then witness her putting her principles in action. Thanks as always to the Green Music Center and the campus Arts Integration Program for making this multi-layered residency possible.