Performing Arts

The Performing Arts track of The Goa Project 2016

Padma Damodaran


Mind games - Using theatre to unlock the secrets of the mind

Submitted Jan 15, 2016

To find out what drives human beings in specific situations using theater games and improvisations.


The human mind is unchartered territory. The process of understanding how a mind works - its values, beliefs, morals, desires, motivations, needs, desperations, instigations, inspirations, commitments, responsibilities - is complicated and often unfathomable for those trying to harness those brains. How do we understand these individuals who are given to us and whom we have to work with? Can we discover what really drives them, how their feelings affect their actions, and what algorithms do their brains respond to?
This is a demonstration cum interactive session exploring the workings of a mind. After a brief demonstration of how situations can be explored using theatre games and improvisations, I will invite participants/audience members to suggest further situations that can then be worked upon. Participants themselves will play the roles that these situations throw up and other audience members may also suggest games and improvs.


Whiteboard and markers.
Audience members willing to suggest professional situations that they have been unable to resolve or were not satisfied with the results
Willingness on part of audience members to play roles/enact said situations
A desire to understand the mind without judgement

Speaker bio

Padma Damodaran is an actor, writer and trainer. She can currently be seen in Charge, an absurd sci-fi comedy directed by Yuki Ellias, in Ambu & Rajalakshmi directed by Gurleen Judge, and the Boy Who Stopped Smiling by Jaimini Pathak (latter two plays written by Ramu Ramanathan). She recently co-directed a play, Single Mingle, that explores people’s sexualities, and earlier directed a play with transgenders on skin donation, Mai Zinda Hoon. She will appear in Nicholas Kharkongor’s film, Mantra, provided the censors don’t snip her bits. Padma is also the founder co-convenor of the Drama School, Mumbai, the city’s premier theatremaking school, and designs and curates actor training programmes. She works with corporates, with children as well. She is a former business journalist, a trained dancer and singer, and is happy to share learnings from the theatre that have shaped her own life with anyone willing to listen. She is curating the Performing Arts track for the second year in succession.


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