The Experimental Theatre Foundation`s InitiativeBack to BNU BAL NATYA UTSAV : : (Children Theatre Festival) (A Process Report) : : by Darshana Dube
---Worldwide acceptance of the concept---
ETF has strongly believed in the concept of “theatre of relevance” and pursued it with conviction that has found acceptance in many other countries of the world. ETF took its first trip abroad [Singapore] in the year 1999. The play ‘ Mera Bachpan’ was instrumental for this visit.
The second trip was to Germany that lasted from 5th sept. To 9 Th Oct. in the year 2000 where ‘ B-7’ was staged successfully by 7 little performers at 15 different venues. Besides the cultural exchange where the children spent some time with the German families and got a new perception to life, 8 workshops were conducted for the theatre performers and schools.
Mr. Paul Broom, from Thalia [U.K.] after participating in a works shop conducted by Experimental Theatre Foundation for BUILD observes, "I realized the fact that the participants must come up with their own answers and form their own perceptions if they are truly to be involved. I also realized that I failed to communicate effectively with the group to enter into a real dialogue with them, due to my lack of clarity which was demonstrated very well in the workshop.”
Besides that the slum children experienced a stupendous personal growth with the world exposure giving them a new confidence and understanding. Sheetal Rathod who went to Germany shares, “ after observing the attitude of the German people over there who genuinely treated us at par and cared for us made me realize the difference in the attitudes of our own people who are sometimes superficial.” Like all the others Ranjit too was impressed with the cleanliness and orderliness and dreams of settling down in Germany one day.
After the success of first trip to Germany, DIE VOLKSHOCHSCHULE invited ETF to Germany for their second trip from 8th Nov. to 21st Nov. that was attended by 8 international theatre directors from different parts of world. In a weeklong workshop conducted for class 10 students proved that theatre could deal with any contemporary issues affecting the subject. It dealt with the issue of violence amongst the teen-agers that was a huge success.
One of the work-shops with the 10 th std. students where the need and importance of theatre of relevance was understood and implied by the students through the play, ‘ Life is not a super market’ scripted and enacted by the students themselves was a stupendous success which helped them to express their need for love and emotions which can’t be bought in a super market. As a result of a series of workshops on ‘ Theater of relevance’ in Germany, an adult school there has introduced the subject in their school curriculum.