Rudolf Puspa: 47 years of Teater Keliling, and studying under Nashar the painter

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Rudolf Puspa. (Photo: PojokSeni)

IO – Rudolf Puspa is proud and touched. Teater Keliling, which he founded with Dery Syrna, Buyung Zasdar, and Paul Pangemanan, reached the age of 47 years on February 13.

Buyung and Paul are no longer active in Teater Keliling, now only Rudolf and Dery, who later became his wife, ran the Teater. Their two children, Dolfry Inda Suri and Sesarina Puspita also played a role. Dolfry now directs hundreds of young members of the Mobile Theater.

“Age often went unnoticed because the increase every day takes place regularly. And when it reaches over a quarter of a century, I was surprised,” wrote Rudy, his nickname, on his social media account.

“Especially for a theater group that still developing and even disappears without realizing it, moreover a mobile theater that chooses to move around, started in the country and turned out to advance to 11 countries.”

“Over the past 47 years there have been 1650 times more shows, which for us were also enough to make us stunned for a long time, we almost couldn’t believe it. In fact, it is not just a stage but also provides workshops for groups of students in the cities where we perform.”

The  day  after  its  birthday, Teater  Keliling  celebrated  by staging the musical drama ‘Keong Emas’ by Dolfry through the platform www.gtunes.co.id. Rudy remains as the director.

Interestingly, Rudy studied with the late Nashar, a famous Indonesian painter before bringing the Teater Keliling to work. “I learned a lot from Nashar about feeling,” said Rudy during the webinar “Teater Keliling and Nashar” held by Kampoeng Semar on Thursday, February 11th.

Rudy has studied with Nashar since 1967. “After a theater performance at Hotel Indonesia, a man approached me and said ‘You don’t have a mother, do you?’ I was shocked how he found out. Then he invited me to visit the Cultural Center, where he lived,” he recalled.

Rudy came and looked for someone whose name he didn’t know. At the Cultural Center, he found out his name was Nashar. Long story short, Rudy also visited and tried to learn from Nashar. “First I noticed Nashar painting. Unique, he looked at the white paper first, then dyed the paper with blue pastels, then used a razor blade. It turned out that he was drawing self-portraits,” he recalled.

Rudy  also  asked  Nashar’s unique  method.  “He  said  it’s called processing emotions; the step to look at the white paper is just the first gear, if you have entered the third gear, the process will get smoother.”

“When I asked whether this method could be used for theater actors? Pak Nashar instead answered ‘I don’t know, I am a painter, not a theater person. Just try it’,” said Rudy.

Rudy once tried this method during training with the Teater Ketjil led by the late Arifin C. Noer, but the idea was dismissed by Arifin. “It was only when I formed the Teater Keliling that I used this method and I felt it was quite successful.”

When the Teater Keliling made its first tour, Nashar was the one who saw them off from the station. (rp)