Theatre for teenagers

Theatre for teenagers

Guilty. Not guilty”. The words that make or break a court case. What happens when the case revolves around two naughty kids whose prank unknowingly kills an individual? Should they be held guilty or not? In their own simple yet gripping and eclectic mix of music and theatrical styles, the Zeal Theatre from Australia questioned the teenage crowd who were present at the Aha! International Theatre Festival which is currently being held in the City.

Inspired by the 1994 trial of two Melbourne teenagers, who killed a passing motorist by kicking rocks off a freeway overpass, Zeal Theatre, recently put up an hour long, two-man show called Stones.

 Having performed over 900 shows all over the world, actors Sam Foster and Adam, filled the stage with movements and sound effects that enchanted the young audiences. Live music in the form of guitar played by the actors added to the appeal of the play. Since its premiere in 1996, they say that every time the audience has had a mixed response to it. “Such incidents happen all the time in many countries but the question always boils down to whether the children accused are guilty or not,” says Sam while Adam adds, “What if the child was your child or the innocent who was murdered is your relative? The argument is never-ending but it does light a spark somewhere.”

So, does taking a real life incident and giving it a theatrical appeal make more impact on children? “It does make them more conscious of such incidents. It allows them to become conscious of the real people involved in the incident. For example, many kids came up to me after the play and asked me how the children are now,” says Sam.

Using very little props and minimal costume changes both actors find the scenario, their directors Stefano Nintso and Tom Lycos have put them under, very liberating. “It provided us the platform to showcase raw emotions,” says Sam while Adam adds, “even the foul language the kids use during the play are questioned but then if we don’t use that we are simply lying to you about how the children are in the West.”

This being their first visit to India, they made sure to keep the cultural sentiments and cut out the parts that may seem offensive. “every time we travel to a new place, we try to know the place really well and adapt the play in such a way that it is suitable for the audience,” says Adam.

Happy with the response that they have received for their performance, one thing that both these artistes would be taking back with them would be cherished memories from India.

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