"To limit one's imagination is to limit one's world." The 'Work In Progress' theatre company is a vibrant, energised and innovative theatre group, living up to its name by continuously evolving. It is virtually bursting with new ideas and no two
theatrical pieces, in fact no two performances of the same piece are ever the same. That is not to say that the techniques of theatre are disregarded. Far from it. Like the best improvisations in music, 'Work in Progress' is grounded in the finest theatrical principles but when passion takes over, everything changes.
'Work in Progress' is the brainchild of its Artistic director, Etienne Coutinho. "Theatre has been my passion from ever since I can remember," says Etienne. "I love every aspect of it. Bringing a story or script to life in every sense of the term and making it contemporary and relevant to the audience - that's where the adrenalin rush comes from." Etienne brings a rich variety of experience to the job. His commercial artist's training, his advertising background, his film-maker's art and craft, his love of music and his mastery of the technology that makes even the most sophisticated productions look seamless …everything comes into play when a 'Work In Progress' production begins.
For "Celebrate Bandra" festival 2005, 'Work in Progress' staged BALLAD OF BANDRA, a piece that captured the very essence of the lively suburb. BALLAD OF BANDRA, it is claimed was fresh, exciting and reached out to the audience with its living and breathing characters who are connected with the throbbing, living organism called the city. The city's very soul was bared - warts and all.
The way 'Work in Progress' embarked on the production exemplifies how the company has worked on all its productions, whatever their size, scale and scope. Every piece is a work of love, a continuous journey of self-searching. Actors must contribute to the script, not just execute it. They dig deep within themselves to give to the scene its character, its meaning. Somewhere along the way, the lines between director, actors, writers, musicians, and the entire production team get blurred. Every production spotlights a space which is transformed by the nervous energy of a group of players. For everyone involved with the show, the drive is the same: to create a piece that leaps out and demands that the audience, stop being a spectator and become instead a participant.
'Work in Progress' undertakes all types of theatrical productions. It has a continuing involvement with children's theatre, which has been challenging, refreshing and very rewarding. Corporate theatre is another area in which Work in Progress has made a mark, combining multiple talents and skills to make corporate communication effective, entertaining and memorable.
Some of the theatrical productions include:
A full length Indo-British production called Holy River
A social satire called Journey
"Bandra to Churchgate", "Mumbai Monologues", "Ballad of Bandra" for "Celebrate Bandra" festivals.
Musicals for Institutions
Stan Musikal Aur Aaj- for Stanislaus High school
"How the Scarecrow got his name", "Star Struck", "Circus of Life"- for Bombay Scottish school
"Jivtara", "We the People"- Dhirubhai Ambani International school
Created a theatrical presentation for Tsunami relief concert in Mumbai entitled 'Be Grateful'
Adapted and directed the prize-winning play entitled "Doghouse".
"Firebird" - for the Daughters of the Heart of Mary
Hindi musical- "Ghere" (Fences)
"On the street where you live" - Musical for Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust
"Waiting for Godot," for Phillips India.
"India Non-Stop," for the World Federation of Stock Exchages Summit.
"The Great Indian Love Story," for ABBY Awards.
"Mumbai Dreams", for the YPO Summit.
"If God were a Woman" and "The Proposal" for The FE Women Achiever's Awards.
"BHollywood" for Hutch Touchdown.