1. Tell us about the fundamentals of GRIPS theatre.
GRIPS refers to Gripping Theatre. It’s an innovative technique that aims to take children’s theatre out of fairy tales and introduce everyday reality. GRIPS plays see the world through the eyes of children. These plays address contemporary issues in society but do so light-heartedly and provoke without preaching. GRIPS Theater, a Berlin-based theatre, was first introduced in Marathi in collaboration with the Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Theatre Academy and the Max Mueller Bhavan, Pune. The Pune GRIPS movement was initiated by Dr Mohan Agashe and the Max Mueller Bhavan. Eight GRIPS plays for children and youth have been produced and performed so far with over 1,000 performances across India.
2. What are the plays in the offing?
We are coming up with a new play written by German writer Lutz Huebener. He visited India and took some reference points from here that we added to the play. Then, we visited Germany, and the final draft was made by each of us. The play is an improvisation of the original write-up. It talks about the interaction between a German and an Indian family and how they are different, how they look at the same concept in different ways. Despite the cultural differences, the families eventually come together and understand each other. As of now, the English script is ready while the Marathi script will be ready by May 10. The play should be staged in mid-May.
3. What is the common factor between the German and Indian version of the play?
The common factor is a take on human relations. The details can change as per the context but the emotions remain the same. This is a turning point for GRIPS as we are completing 25 years and the next 35 years will be a milestone. New people will be coming in and this will change the format but there will be a growth for sure. This kind of cultural exchange is necessary and it will impact the younger generation and help them evolve.