Chennai and Tamil Nadu
JAYA NARAYANAN PISHAROTY
The world of theatre
Workshop A 11-day theatre camp introduced children to the intricacies of theatre.
A woman’s mind: ‘Chinthavishtayaya Sita’ dwelt on the conflict in Sita’s mind between her iconic status and her quintessential womanhood.
A 11-day theatre workshop for children between the ages of eight and 15 saw 27 children participate in a camp that was conducted in Thrissur. Children were introduced to the intricacies of theatre starting from the theory of drama – ancient Ind
ian and Greek, to Stanislavskian.
According to Suresh Mechery, camp director, although the children may not have understood the concepts completely, the aim was to familiarise the children with these theories. At the camp, the children were also taught script-reading, mask- making, set design and clay modelling.
In addition to acting classes, the children were taught Koodiyattam and Kathakali mudras. Theatre personalities such as Jayasurya, Prabhu Prasad and Samkutty Pattangiri led the various workshops. A performance by the children marked the close of the camp as they put to use what was taught to them during the workshop.
The first item was a dance-based presentation of Kumaran Asan’s ‘Chinthavishtayaya Sita.’ The play touches upon the conflict in Sita’s mind; between her iconic status and her quintessential womanhood.
As the backdrop changes from a forest scene to blood-red, we see Sita, the docile woman, enjoying the company of her forest friends, morphing into a symbol of wronged womankind. Sita, unbending and proud, rejects the invitation to Rama’s court. She chooses to join her mother, Earth. Dance movements and Kathakali mudras, conveyed the story.
The staging of Bharatendu Harishchandra’s play ‘Andheri Nagar Mein Chaupat Raja’ followed.
The play revolves around Govardhan, a young monk who decides to turn his back on his group, in order to embrace the materialistic life. The king of the land mistakes him for a thief and orders him to be executed. Timely intervention by Govardhan’s guru saves his neck.
The children brought out the humour in the piece with élan.
As they had the audience in splits, it was obvious that the workshop had opened the world of theatre and its possibilities to them.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu