Summer theatre workshops are on the rise

As the temperatures rise in the Capital, students eagerly await their summer vacations. It’s an instinct no one is immune to. But rather than lazing away, they want to do something productive.

A seasonal industry of workshops, training camps and other events has come up as a result.

Theatre workshops are becoming increasingly popular among kids. Earlier, parents refrained from sending their children to attend theatre workshops. But times have changed. The best part is they are open to college and school students.

Summer workshops are organised by many theatre societies in Delhi. Many of them even run year-round courses to impart the basics of theatre to budding actors.

Theatre group Khalna — The People for Performing Arts organises such workshops every year. “Parents show immense interest in getting their children enrolled for such workshops,” explains Anumita Dutta of Khalna. “The fact that more school students enrol with us really excites me and shows how the trends have changed,” she adds. Many Delhi University students also form a part of this society.

Sneha Dutta, an English (Hons.) student of Kirorimal College, has been associated with the group for many years. “Organizing workshops for students in summer vacations is a positive sign. Such workshops were lacking during our times,” she says.

Platform for Action in Creative Theatre organises summer theatre workshops and ropes in many professional theatre artistes who train the budding talents. This group has earned laurels for “Abhivyakti - A Production Oriented Theatre Workshop” and for organising the “Purple Umbrella Theatre Festival” which brings together around 250 schools for a month-long event.

Gouri Nilakantan, artistic director of the group, says “Our group feels a need of carrying forward the rich legacy which our country possesses in theatre.” The main workshop of this group is organised in the summer vacations. However, the enrolled students get to perform all through the year. “We try to provide maximum exposure to the budding talent by engaging them on a regular basis. Our relationship with the students extends beyond the summer workshops,” adds Gouri.

The thinking pattern of parents has also changed. Pawan Kumar, father of Abhi Kumar (13years) is planning to enrol his son in the summer theatre workshop. He says, “This will lead to the overall growth of my son. I want him to learn the basics of acting and theatre as well.” These signs augur well for the growth of theatre culture.