BANGALORE: The memories of last Wednesday will remain in the minds of 28 children from a government school in Koramangala for a long time. After three months of rigorous practice, these kids got an opportunity to display their theatrical skills at Chowdiah Memorial Hall.
Theatre for A Cause — an initiative to showcase the talent of not-so-fortunate kids through the form of theatre — was organised by Akshaya Patra Foundation and theatre personality Padmavati Rao.
“Through this initiative, we wanted to contribute to the child’s development and connect with them beyond the mid-day meal programme. The initiative saw theatre being used to showcase to the world the latent gifts that children possess and how they can be harnessed,” says Sayani Bhattacharya from the foundation.
She adds that most of the children came from households where earning for three square meals a day was the priority. “Nobody in their homes knew that these children were talented. They also did not have the wherewithal to explore or nurture their talent. Through the workshop, they have discovered their inner strength and talent that just needed recognition,” she says and adds that the workshop taught them story-telling and singing. “This workshop not only groomed them but also helped them understand the meaning of self-discovery and the sense of achievement,” she says.
Kids had to wake up as early as 5.30 am to attend the workshop that was held everyday at 6.30 am. As the play progressed, their moods and attitude towards life changed too. “Initially, they were curious about the whole process. This curiosity changed into enthusiasm and later to professionalism,” she says.
Written by Padmavati Rao, the play Making a Man of an Ass is based on a popular folk tale. It is the story of a dhobi and his wife who aspire to turn their donkey into a man as they don’t have children of their own. They nurse ambitions of their donkey becoming something that in the view of the world is ‘big’. It goes on to talk about their travails during this endeavour and has powerful messages to convey in terms of what parents of today expect from their children.
“The story is simple and yet evokes a gamut of emotions. Humour, pathos and joy are just some of these,” adds Sayani.