Theatre workshop under able guidance of veteran Odia theatre and film personality Surya Narayan Mohanty is being used to enhance personality, confidence and talents of school children in tribal-dominated Koraput district of Odisha.
This innovative theatre workshop for children to groom instinctive acting skills of small children is being conducted jointly by ‘Theatre Odisha’ of Sunabeda and ‘Mukti’ theatre group of Bhubaneswar. Theatre Odisha is a group of theatre freelancers from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) campus of Sunabeda and ‘Mukti’ headed by Mr Mohanty is one of the flag-bearers of contemporary stage activity in Odisha. Mr Mohanty, an alumnus of the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD), says activists of ‘Theatre Odisha’ like Biswaranjan Kanungo and Susant Ranjan Rautray had enthused him to reach Koraput district to groom young talents since 2013.
Now 22 children -- between the ages of eight and 14 year selected from schools in Sunabeda, Semiliguda and Damanjodi -- are taking part in this theatre workshop camp. The children are being groomed through entertaining games and plays during this workshop, said Mr Mohanty. They participate in different events, including painting, singing, dancing, games to sharpen their creativity and imagination. Mr Mohanty personally grooms these children in skills such as voice modulation, pronunciation and personality development. Neha Murmu, a psychologist, is actively involved in this workshop to enhance confidence and personality of these children from tribal areas.
A parallel theatre workshop of activists of ‘Theatre Odisha’ is also continuing. Both groups are in regular interaction with each other in playful atmosphere. The elders are working on a play named ‘Purna Purusha’ while the children are engaged in a play named ‘Bhut Nagri’. ‘Bhut Nagri’ is a Hindi play by Gulshan Walia, which has been translated into Odia by Mr Rautray. “Lack of proper promotion of children’s theatre in Odisha has also led to dearth of children’s plays in the State,” said Mr Rautray.
After completion of these theatre workshops, both plays would be staged in Bhubaneswar and Koraput.
“These theatre workshops bring in miraculous transformation in children as through training of acting skills their inferiority complex vanishes along with increase of confidence, which helps them even in their studies also,” said Mr Mohanty and Mr Rautray.
In 2013, parents of Dibyadarshan Soren, a child participant of this theatre camp, were in tears when they saw the magical transformation in their child. Dibyadarshan’s remarkable transformation was also evident in his future school activities including studies.