CORPORATE THEATRE WORKSHOP

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Different organizations and B-Schools have various novel ways of beginning their programs. Our MBA program at Amrita started off with the supremely innovative corporate theatre workshop, presented by Mr. Paul Mathew, a highly experienced theatre professional and a regular contributor to our university's programs. Passionate and colourful, he gave us a day of great fun and happiness in which we shed all our inhibitions and came out of our self-made shells or at least we tried to.

He brought out the child in us with a game of role play in which we introduced ourselves. We followed up with an activity of basically expressing our emotions by shouting at each other and then enacted a scene that was given to us by Sir. By that we understood the difference when we display something without feeling and the display with real feeling within. And we felt so relaxed by coming out of our own small world and being a child again.

But, this was not all, We were then divided into groups of complete strangers. In our groups we were to enact the professions of different people such as a cobbler, goldsmith or a massage therapist. It was fun to get an idea of what different professions might be like by enacting them.

Amazingly through this experience, we displayed group dynamics, team work, and team spirit though we all were absolute strangers.

Was this all? No. We followed with short fun exercises. Then, we were again divided into different groups. Then we went on to enact a scene, for example, a court scene where a convicted criminal was given a death sentence or at a political rally where there was conflict. We had to visualize the scene, see who was fit for which role, make props and do other preparations. With all this completed in 30 minutes with the new group, it beautifully brought out our creativity and the team work.

These were things that we couldn't even imagine we would be doing a few hours earlier but we were able to do them without even an iota of restraint. It was a day when we fought with our own demons, our shyness as well as some of the convictions that bind us.

At the end of the day, we as students felt very much at home. We had entered the hall as strangers caught up in our own little worlds. But as we left, the people around me had become my friends. It felt as if I had known them for years. We felt a bonding with the surroundings and place we are going to spend our next two years, probably the most important of our lives in. It broke down barriers brought about by years of conditioning and it felt good.

Read also about previous Corporate Theater Workshops.

CORPORATE THEATRE WORKSHOP - 2006

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Pchak,pchak,pchak,splash,spalsh,splash,bang,bang,...BANG".. Just when you think you've just stepped into a kindergarten classroom, you realize you are looking at twenty somethings crawling on their knees, some make -believe elephants flanked by make- believe ears, making the weirdest kind of faces, hollering at the top of their voices....spirited enough to put even the noisiest and mischievous of nine-year olds to shame. Meet the "children" of the Amrita School of Business at "play" during the Corporate Theatre Workshop conducted by the dynamic and extremely talented Mr.Paul Mathew at the Sri Krishna Hall in ASB.

The theater workshop provided students with the unique platform wherein they could shed all inhibitions, behave in the goofiest manner possible and learn something in the process. Mr.Paul Mathew, who has had the experience of conducting similar workshops for executives of top national and multi-national companies, urged us to let go of our personalities and our self-consciousness as only then can we be truly open to people and ideas around us. Through activities like producing and presenting plays and tableaux, we were made to realize how a team notwithstanding the diversity of its team members, when focused on a common goal brainstorm for ideas, delegate and assume roles, and work single-mindedly and in unison towards the creation of a uniquely creative work of art.

A game of charades that was played with the students divided into various teams succeeded in leaving us in splits- the hilarious antics of some of our friends, especially when we got to see a six-foot tall mosquito, a human frog and "God looking from above" we were almost sure we had taken Napoleon's disdain for the word "impossible" to new heights. We learned that effective communication entailed having the right attitude and proper effort from both sides, that of the communicator and the receiver.

At the end of the nine hour corporate workshop session, we couldn't help feeling so much lighter, having had a jolly good time and having shed the weight of our overrated self -images. For the first time we saw good communication, coordination, openness and receptivity to new ideas and people, and trust and camaraderie were not just management concepts, but practical tools that help enhance successful team dynamics. A new bond had been forged among the participants of the workshop. We couldn't help wishing the day would never end. Thanks to Mr. Paul Mathew, the nuances of effective team dynamics will remain etched in our memory, not just for the two years at Amrita, but for life.

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Contributed By-
Nishi Kuriyan
MBA 2006-2008

 

A BRIEF ON THE CORPORATE THEATRE WORKSHOP ORGANISED BY Mr. PAUL MATHEW

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It was June 27, 2005, the day on which the students of our batch (MBA 2005-07) were supposed to attend "A Corporate Workshop". The name Corporate Workshop itself left us baffled and wondering as to what it meant. Many of us until then thought that workshops were meant for mechanics. What would an MBA aspirant want to do there?

corp1 But thanks to Mr. Paul Matthews, in the end it turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience where each one of us took a step forward towards shedding inhibitions, shyness and fears. The workshop succeeded in bringing out the creativity and childishness buried within us. Mr. Paul was so infectious that by the end of the program each one of us had imbibed a bit of his dynamic personality. In the process we were able to bring out the humorous side of ourselves and were also able to enjoy the amusing side of our own batch-mates. The whole session boiled down to learning team work, co-ordination, bonding, knowing each other and knowing oneself.
Varun Muralidharan , Ist Year MBA

REFLECTIONS ON THE CORPORATE THEATRE WORKSHOP

The corporate theatre session conducted by Mr. Paul Mathew revealed quite a few truths which might have been unknown to many. Through the fun of the games played, many important ideas were brought to light.

Participants realized the drawbacks of inhibitions and the importance of bonding as a pre-requisite to effective team work. Rewards/recognition, recognition of individual vs teams, appraisals by manager vs peer appraisals, were some ideas that were discussed.

By the end of the session, participants had realized for themselves that team functioning can only happen optimally as long as the individuals are not rated separately. The apprehension that individual brilliance or inefficiency might be kept hidden in teams was also removed when it was seen in the games itself, that the team did recognize individual brilliance not only in their own teams but also across teams. It was also clear that inefficiency is automatically removed in teams over time without any interference from the management as long as the team is prioritized over an individual.
Pratyush Banerjee , Ist Year MBA

In the stress-filled environment of MBA, Mr. Paul Matthew spontaneously came up with an entirely innovative idea called "Corporate Workshop" where each and every student was given a platform to eke out his or her in-depth skills and treasured talents. It introduced us to that dormant self which we were unaware of for so many years. I suddenly experienced myself going back to my kindergarten. Last but not the least, he taught us so many valuable morals of life just through fun and frolic. It helped me to understand and observe the minutest details, which ultimately leads to becoming a better manager in the future. My uttermost thanks to Sir and my earnest requests are to conduct more workshops of these kinds scheduled at appropriate intervals.
Ipsita Patil, Ist Year MBA

Mr. Paul Mathew's workshop on corporate theatre was to say the least, exceptionally good and refreshing. A rejuvenating journey of rediscovering the child in us, the joie de vivre that we seem to have lost in our race for professional success. I personally felt liberated through this process as we shed our personality cages, defenses and inhibitions.

The glimpse of our true potential and talent was very reassuring and gave a boost to my self-confidence. It is essential that we should have more and more of these workshops. They are also probably the best stress busters. Maybe the management should consider having more of Mr. Paul Mathew's workshops in the future, probably every three months!
Renuka Mohan, Ist Year MBA

The Corporate Workshop conducted by Mr. Paul Mathew was simply fantastic. Everybody enjoyed every second of it. I was impressed by his simple yet effective way of conveying ideas. Group activities brought the entire class together, making us close and at the same time making us realize the importance of teamwork in a corporate world. I wish there were more workshops of this kind as we find it an effective way of etching concepts of management into our mind, more than just mere textual studies.
Lakshmi Manmohan, Ist Year MBA

It was truly a great pleasure having Mr. Paul Mathew introduce the Corporate Theatre Workshop to us. Who would have thought MBA or just managing and team work could be so much fun? It was a great opportunity to not just make new friends, but get to know our friends better. I feel that we need to have such workshops much more often, just to help us unwind from the busy schedules we have to face.
Harini V , Ist Year MBA


The "Corporate Theatre Workshop" conducted by Mr. Paul Matthew (Director, Academy of Transformational Learning) for first year students of ASB was truly one of a kind. It was enriching in many ways where we learned to shed our inhibitions, and went on to have the most exhilarating experience of our lives.

The workshop began with an ice-breaking session where we were asked to scream our name out loud in a dramatic way. Later on, we were divided into various teams for many more fun filled and power packed games like mime, tabloids and other activities. The emphasis was on teamwork and co-ordination. It also facilitated more communication among us, putting all of us at ease. "Creativity" and "Spontaneity" were the keywords. We were able to get a taste of the real corporate scenario. The spirit of bonhomie was at an all time high, awakening the sleeping child in all of us. It was indeed a workshop with a difference and we would like to thank our faculty for providing us with such an unforgettable experience under the guidance of a dynamic person like Mr. Paul Matthew.
Piya Jayarajan & Devi Gopinath , Ist Year MBA