Fun for the kids

Fun for the kids

TODDLER THEATRE

Fun for  the kids

Theatre has always been a great way of bringing the community together and at the Ranga Shankara, one never needs an excuse to come and spend time with fellow theatre fanatics.

Last week, however, saw a different side to the place. The entire week was dedicated to the young fans of the medium. From story-telling sessions and movie screenings to something called ‘toddler theatre’, there were many options for youngsters at the ‘AHA! International Theatre Festival 2012’.

This year, a lot of emphasis was given to ‘toddler theatre’. Plays created keeping the little ones in mind not only entertained the toddlers, but also their parents. The ambience at the theatre was set to impress.

There was half of a Maruti car, decorated with puppets on one corner, an artistes’ dressing table placed at another side and even a collage of paintings and drawings by all the students who were part of the workshop.

Manjula, a parent, who had come with her three-year-old child for one of the plays, said, “It’s really nice to introduce our children to the world of theatre. And though one may think that they are too young to understand, I beg to differ because the plays showcased at this festival are designed for their mindset.”

The highlight was ‘Duck Death and Tulip’. This drama/puppet show was meant for viewers aged between five and 99. A complete family entertainer, the play is about a duck, who lives a calm and quiet life by a lake, when an unexpected guest shows up — Death.

While at first fearful of Death, the duck soon develops a friendship with him. And thus emerges a beautiful story woven around the theme of friendship and the fact of life.

  The festival also had a line up of film screenings, including Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’. Tamara, a third-standard student who had come for the screening, said, “I loved all the characters in the movie, especially Mowgli and Baloo the bear.”

There was also another play meant for children of ages between 18 months and three years. Called ‘Bends and Flows’, the play has been directed by Subhashim Goswami.

Using a complete different technique, the play had no specific story line but instead used everyday material like black channa and hidden narratives to engage the children in a game that explored the possibilities of this simple gram.

The children were allowed to get on  stage and play with the lead characters and simply have fun with the black ‘channa. “It was nice to see that for a change, it was the adults who took time out to accompany the children to the plays.

We take the toddler theatre very seriously here and after seeing such a positive response, we hope to bring in more such plays in the future,” summed up Arundhati Nag.

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