Changing perspectives

From perfecting expressions to community bonding, the summer workshop by Navarasa Theatre Arts Association at The Government Children Home for Boys is much more than just acting classes

The murmurs from the boys died instantly as a loud devilish laughter roared through a room. At the centre of the room is a boy wearing a black cap with two horns resembling Yamraj, the death God. At the Government Children Home for Boys at Chinnagadili, a group of 38 boys aged between seven and 17 years are sitting around two boys, showcasing their acting skills acquired over the past three days. City-based theatre group, Navarasa Theatre Arts Association is conducting an acting workshop for the orphan boys of the Home during their summer break.

For 17-year-old C Akash, it is finally that time when he can step into the shoes of the hero from YouTube videos whom he has been envying for a long time. “I love these classes,” he exclaims gladly. “I have always been fascinated about acting and all the effort that goes into making an actor, a hero. I practice the scenes even after the workshop is over,” he laughs. For the caretakers of the home, the workshop has more lessons about life than than just acting. “Anything related to fine arts helps in personality development. These few hours of the acting classes will increase their creativity and help in keeping away the feeling of isolation,” says Abdul Raqueeb, former member of Child Welfare Organisation.

Three members of Navarasa are conducting the classes for the children. They are teaching them voice modulation, breathing techniques and perfecting expressions for basic emotions like happiness, sadness and anger. “ At the end of the workshop we plan to stage a play. For now, we are giving them small scenes to enact so that we understand the capability of each child. Of the 38, few of them will be selected for the play. If we find any exceptional talent, then we are ready to cast them in our other plays too,” says Durga Sharadha, a teacher by profession and an artist by passion who is associated with Navarasa.

Every day brings in something new not just for the children but also the director of the programme, P V Ramanamurthy. He is attempting to draw the plot of the final play from the experiences of the orphan boys of the Home.

For seven-year-old Rahul Rathore, the workshop is an excellent excuse to keep his books at the bay. A break from his routine that involves academics and homework, Rathore spends his mornings watching the director explain scenes. “It is so much fun, we laugh all the time. This is something that I have never done before and I am enjoying the change,” says Rathore.

Badamjeer Sai, a senior theatre artist and the president of Navarasa, feels that the workshop plays a much larger role than just entertainment or the excitement of learning a new art. “Natak teaches disciple of life. It makes people observant. Plays help an individual and society on the large by holding up a mirror to the behaviour of the society,” he says. While the basic motto of holding the workshop is to give the boys a break from their academics and keep them engaged during their summer break, the acting classes are now imbibing much more than just acting lessons.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:26:59 AM |

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