Thrissur: A group of children are engaged in some random games. Some laugh, some sling mud at one another in mock anger. Joy is writ large on their faces.
Not a scene from a village playground. It is a theatre camp organised by Rangachethana at the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi's Natyagraham.
Come summer, the theatre landscape of the city comes alive with children's camps and theatre workshops. Rangachethana has been conducting children's theatre camps for the past 26 years.
“Children, now it's time for your performances. You can select the theme for yourself. It can be any popular folk tale,” announced K.V. Ganesh, trainer for the children's theatre camp for the past 21 years.
In no time, the three dozen children, in the 10-16 age group, divided themselves into three groups. They performed three popular folk tales with ease and grace. It was their first improvisation in this camp, said Mr. Ganesh.
“Theatre enriches a child's emotional world and enhances his aesthetic sensibility,” he said.
“It liberates them from inhibitions and instils in their minds a positive attitude.”
The camp aimed to help the talented young artistes to hone their skills, he said.
For the children, mostly city dwellers, it provides an all-new experience of teamwork. In addition, the children get training in painting from Damodharan Nambidi and V.S. Gireeshan and folk song from K.U. Haridas.
A shadow puppetry class by M.V. Rajan is also part of the camp. The camp will close on May 31 with staging of a children's play.