Education takes centre stage

Feb 07, 2012, 07:30 IST | Ruchika Kher

London Talents, a UK-based organisation that specialises is using theatre to translate the education-meets-entertainment mode for kids, is on their first India tour. Ruchika Kher listens in before the Mumbai chapter kicks off

Theatre in Education, a concept that aims at imparting educational concepts to children through visual non-verbal performances by adult specialist actors, might be a relatively new phenomenon in India. But London Talents with their play, From Here to There, is looking at popularising this medium with their three-city tour across India.

"Constantly verbalising and raising our volume to teach children humanitarian and social concepts may not be the best technique.

It is not only stressful for the child but also for the parent. However, as parents we often lack techniques to deal with such situations," believes Jumana Kapadia, theatre artist and member of London Talents, who has been qualified by the Trinity College of London in Speech and Drama. She adds that using theatre as a medium to visually impart a concept to a child helps ingrain the concept into a child.

Stage is set

The show is for children up to the age of seven. When used to impart education or awareness, theatre can prove to be a great way of bringing different senses together in a meaningful way to assist children in making connections and understanding complex ideas within the context of a story, shares Jumana.

Explaining the techniques to be used, she informs, "During a show, we use puppetry, emoting through material, movement, vocal rhythm, music, dance and play to look at concepts from a child's perspective and explain the logical outcome from very much a child's perspective. Therefore, if used appropriately, good children's theatre can create a difference."

Although London Talents includes a repertoire of over thirty different plays, they selected their show From Here to There, which explores the concept of sharing, caring and empathising with others as their first foray into India.
So why did they decide to stage in India? "We have researched the Indian edutainment (Educational + Entertainment) space and have found that there is very little children and parents can do together by ways of entertainment and still educational out of the remit of schools.

We discovered a void of high calibre 'theatre in education' shows for young children and their parents. Good 'theatre in education' projects require funding to research and conceive meaningful shows for children.

This is almost non-existent in India. We believe that young Indian audiences should not miss out on this unique opportunity in their childhood, hence our entrance into India," concludes Jumana.

ON February 11, 10:45 am AT Prithvi House, opposite Prithvi Theatre, 1st floor, 20 Janki Kutir, Juhu. CALL 9004768108

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