The Bard's world through the eyes of a child

The Bard's world through the eyes of a child

Quoting a dialogue from the Bard’s celebrated work Twelfth Night with aplomb, when Harmeet Singh speaks out the lines, “O sir, I will not be so hard-hearted: I will give out divers schedules of my beauty. It shall be Inventoried and every particle and utensil labell’d to my will: As, Item two lips indifferent red, Item two gray eyes, with lids to them: Item, one neck, one chin, and so forth. Were you sent hither to praise me?”,  the audience knows they are in for a theatrical treat.

Atelier’s children’s theatre festival Bachpan: Episode 4 staged some of the finest works of William Shakespeare to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the playwright. Spread over two days on the weekend, the grand finale was a gala affair with a potpourri of street plays, storytelling acts and dramas performed by students from different schools in the Capital.

Performing Mixed up love, the students of the St. Mark’s Senior Secondary Public School staged a play where a character Harmeet Singh has to disguise itself as a man to assist a famous filmmaker who despises women. In the end, the character confesses that the Bard came to its rescue when she had to assist the filmmaker. She mentions that it was the art of disguise that drew her into acting in the first place.
After this act, the students of Tagore International performed Romeo Juliet with Kahaani Mei Twist in a streetplay format. Interestingly, the play that centred around khap panchayats, also made a satirical comment on the Indian media industry with some quintessential TV debates by Arnab thrown in for good measure. To bring street theatre to an auditorium-like setup was a success in itself for the group from Tagore International School.

These plays were performed in a non-competitive format to give impetus to theatre amongst students. Within this perspective, the festival endeavoured to nourish Theatre-In-Education (TIE) as a movement and a theatrical method, which formulates the most noteworthy development in contemporary theatre.

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