A theatrical summer workshop

miscellany

A theatrical summer workshop

While for many kids, summer camps mean games, art classes and sports, for kids of Kaiga in Uttara Kannada district, it’s all about theatre. About a fortnight ago, I watched the members of K V Subbanna Rangasamooha of Heggodu dress up several children to perform at the township of the National Power Corporation India Limited at Kaiga.

 
K V Subbanna Rangasamooha was formed in Heggodu in 2012, by amateur artistes, in an attempt to pay tribute to the acclaimed dramatist Subbanna. “We can only say Subbanna has been an inspiration and a guiding force to many artistes like us. Some of us have even trained at his institute Ninasam,” said H S Prasanna and Sripada Bhagawath, members of the troupe.

“Like many troupes, we too have preferred to do ‘something different’ and began organising summer workshops for children at places like Sagara, Kumta, Ankola and Kalaburagi. The focus is on getting the children to learn through experience, space, nature and visual elements. Learning by rote is a system they need a break from, at least during holidays,” said Madhusudhan V D, co-director of the workshop.

The workshop at Kaiga had programmes on learning makeup, preparing masks, craftwork, drawing, clay work, music, folk dances, work of a fire brigade, children’s fete and a play. “We liked their idea of getting the kids to draw their family trees, to write down recipes of simple dishes, and to get the rules of Regional Transport Office (RTO). For all of these, the children went back to their parents, which is a positive sign in this age of missing communication,” opined the residents of the township, whose kids had participated in the workshop .

The children’s fair (Makkala Santhe) was the first big event, beginning with a procession (jaatre) of the local deity. “Both santhe and jaatre are beyond worship; they are art forms in themselves. But not many young ones are aware of this fact,” rues Madhusudhan. What’s more, the workshop also allowed kids to sell eatables or veggies they have grown in their backyard at the fair by paying Rs 5 as licence fee. The children also had to submit figures of expenditure, profits or losses to the organisers the next day.

The presentation of Kuvempu’s play Nanna Gopala on the final day was the most exciting event for the children. “The story of a little boy walking through the jungle and innocently calling out to his elder brother was a conscious choice. Enacting a tale of a mother and a son who have no one but the Lord to turn to, would make the children more sympathetic towards the needy,” explained Prasanna.

The number of scenes were increased to ensure all children could go on stage. The roles were also shared, with about 8 children playing the little boy, Gopala, for instance. “In review of the play and the entire workshop, the energy and enthusiasm of the resource persons in guiding about 80 children for a fortnight are to be admired,” said members of Kaiga Project Employees’ Recreation Club, who hosted the workshop.

For more details, call Prasanna on 9480023553 or Madhusudhan on 9482138073.

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