Theatre

Play it out

HANDS ON The play took shape thanks to a theatre workshop. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

I hadn't sat cross-legged on the floor in a while, it took me back to school where every morning my leg would fall asleep waiting for assembly to get over. It was almost like I had never been away as I sat with a class of school children, and on stage there was a little girl, a dragon, an elephant and an increasingly odd set of friends talking about the only thing they have in common, friendship.

It was a performance of “The Fabulous Adventures Of Aditi And Friends”, based on Suniti Namjoshi's series of books, “Aditi And Friends”. The play was adapted by Sunitha and directed by Anish Victor.The cast, which was mostly first time actors and few full-timers, were found at a workshop conducted by the theatre group, Rafiki. The group have been practising from April for this production.

“We have all taken breaks from everything we do to be here, I am a teacher and this is a totally new experience for me. When I read about the workshop I checked if age was a problem and when they said no, I joined and here I am,” says Jayanti Sachidanand, who plays the role of Monji.

While earlier Rafiki had taken theatre to schools, this time they are working it the other way round. “There is a two-fold plan, we are bringing the schools into this space that we have created, giving the children an experience and also provoking thought. We also want to encourage schools to start conducting theatre workshops where we will deal with subjects such as friendship, bullying and negotiating. We want to take theatre beyond the extra-curricular,” explains Anish.

Considering most of them are first timers on stage the cast all had to deal with the good ol' attack of the nerves, “It is hard to let go, but as we go on we are loosening up. We are just like the bunch of diverse characters in the play, and we have used this medium to open up,” says Charumathi Supraja, who plays Ele, the beautiful elephant.

“We have learned so many things over the course of these few months. We learned how to make puppets and masks and operate them, how to improvise and even how to compose tunes. And although we started out slowly as a part-time affair, by and by we had to dedicate more time and soon it was a full time commitment,” says Jayanti.

The play will be staged on July 17 and 24 at 3.30 p.m. at K.K. Foundation and Public Charitable Trust, Cunningham Road. Tickets will be available at the venue. For details call 9886474674


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:35:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/play-it-out/article2224017.ece

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