MUMBAIThere was improv, humour and snappy dialogue on display as 30 luck early-bird registrees got to take the stage with thespian Om Katare, at a theatre workshop held at the MC Ghia hall on Friday as part of Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.Katare began with an exercise in which two participants improvised a casual conversation on stage, with the rider that one of them could only say, ‘I don’t know’.As the audience burst into fits of laughter at their attempts, Katare explained that the exercise was important as it teaches the actor ‘the art of brevity’.“It teaches the actor how to play around and experiment with different ways to say that one line,” he said.In another exercise, Katare asked two participants to enact a short skit on the theme of ‘lunch’, with one acting as servant and the other as employer. This scene too soon became a laugh riot, as the actors began to resemble a couple arguing.However, Katare warned, actors must not always resort to humour as it can dilute a scene. “Most actors add an angle of humour to their characters as a means to find immediate gratification. They can see and hear the audience react right there and then, but it can also take away so much from the scene and character,” Katare said.Among those listening intently was Shehzad Shaikh, 26, who has quit his job at an MNC to pursue acting full-time and came all the way from Kalyan to attend the workshop.“I’ve learnt a lot about the art of spontaneity,” he said. “Acting is about action and reaction. The character opposite me was given just one line and I had be quick to think of different lines in reaction.”Pooja Khadkikar, 23, a software engineer looking to pursue theatre full-time, said she appreciated the workshop being hands-on and interactive. “What I liked the most was that at each stage, Mr Katare also explained the theory behind the practice,” she said.