BENGALURU: Though monsoon clouds are covering the Bengaluru skies, it seems that nothing can stop this city from celebrating. Bengaluru is all set to kickstart the International Theatre Festival for Children - 2019 at Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar, from July 14. The festival will begin with Ranga Shankara’s production Old Man and the Sea. This is the story of a seasoned fisherman and his struggle for the greatest catch of his life. When asked about putting together a theatre festival for children, Surendranath, director of the play, says, “Children are cruel critics. If they don’t like a performance, they will show their response then and there or just start talking to each other. We can’t lose ourselves even for one minute.”
According to him,festivals like this should motivate children to learn and read more classics. “I’m not telling the story. I’m conveying the emotions of the protagonist Santiago, the fisherman.
To read that story, the child has to refer to Ernest Hemingway’s book. We are introducing them to classics.” He also feels that more realistic stories should be told through children’s theatre. “Old Man and the Sea is realistic and is about respecting nature. Telling realistic stories can create more meaningful experiences than narrating fairy tales.”
The festival will feature seven plays, with the theme being puppetry. He explains, “Each puppet comes alive on stage, just the way an actor gets life on stage. Though puppetry originated in the past centuries, it is still relevant today. We have grown up with them. Similarly, puppetry is also growing with us. New lighting and sound techniques are coming up in this field. Through this theatre festival, we are trying to
showcase seven different puppet shows from across the globe.”