Going back in time, when we recall memories from school, it is the time that we spent outside the four walls of a classroom that comes rushing back to us. And how can we forget the endless prep sessions for those plays and cultural programs?
Providing a platform for theatre and arts in schools around Bengaluru, the Bangalore Inter School Theatre Festival is back with a bang. Students and mentors alike are having a ball preparing for their performance which will take place from October 26 to 28 at Alliance Francaise.
The theme for this year is Home. Anita Mithra, the owner of an entertainment company, a theatre person and facilitator, is thrilled to be hosting the second edition, BOAT (Bangalore One Act Theatre) of the festival.
Emphasising on the importance of theatre in a student’s life, she says, “We want to create a space in schools to introduce students to theatre and provide a platform for them to exhibit their skills. Theatre is not restricted only to people who want to be dancers, singers or actors. The processes that are involved in teaching them the art teaches them more than the art itself. It teaches them to be co-ordinated, increases their vocabulary, confidence, personality and teaches them time management. When you work as a team and use skills other than that of your academic ones you grow life skills; which is as important as being academically sound. As someone who has been doing theatre since the age of four, I can vouch for this aspect of it.”
We take a peep into how the students are prepping for the big day and what we can expect. Euro school is performing a Brazilian Folktale, House in the Woods. Giving it a twist from the regular, they are paying extra attention to the costumes and sets.
Deepika V, the activity co-ordinator, says, “The play is going to be very different from the others. It is designed in such a way that the students would have built a house by the end of it. That is, the entire set will be built during the course of the play; each part will be put together by the students. The children are thoroughly enjoying the preparations and are giving their best. It is the first time that our children are getting such an exposure. Earlier we have done many in-house productions but this one is going to be very different.”
Every story, poem or play we were introduced to as kids had a message to part. A story without a message is an incomplete one. Rita Sreekantamurthy, the co-ordinator for Deccan International School, too focuses on the importance of leaving a message with the play.
She says, “More than anything we want the children to learn, grow and enjoy with the experience. Archana Shyam is in charge of the design and direction of the play. It is based on a Kannada adaptation, Struggling Roots. The play focuses on animals and how they have come out of their natural habitats. They are in a constant struggle; in search of a home. The message we are trying to convey is the urging need to protect our environment and doing our bit to save it. During the practice session I can see that the children understand the importance of the same and relate to it.”
Talking to Prithesh Bhandary, the mentor for Asia Pacific and Carmel Academy schools, we find out how the students are being mould to suit their roles and perform better. How does one get over their inhibitions and give their best?
He says, “We are performing adaptations from fables. The students are accustomed to them and tend to relate to them. In my classes I invoke their imagination because theatre is all about it. How they imagine a scene or sequence will influence how they perform.
Until they kindle their creative side they won’t be able to understand their character or have fun. Considering some of the students are new to theatre they have a lot of inhibitions. The experience is new to them. We can break the ice in such cases by giving them more activities they are comfortable with and have fun. They link the fun factor with something new that they are learning.”