Kunal Kapoor: Children make the most honest audience

Wintertime@Prithvi, a season of workshops and theatre for children, makes its debut next weekend

Along with the slight bite in the air, Mumbai’s winter has brought with it another reason to cheer for theatre enthusiasts. After the success of Summertime@Prithvi, an event comprising plays and theatre workshops for the youth, Prithvi Theatre is now organising Wintertime@Prithvi on the same lines. It will get under way from December 25. The list of plays features some plays already popular with the younger audience like Nuclear Sher, Gulabo and Parizad, James along with new entrants.

A moment from the play, Growing Up, that will be staged at Prtihvi
A moment from the play, Growing Up, that will be staged at Prtihvi

Kunal Kapoor, head of Prithvi Theatre, explains the idea. “For 20 years, Prithvi has been successfully holding the Summertime@Prithvi season of plays and workshops for the young during the summer holidays. We had received requests from parents to hold similar activities during the other holidays. So, this year during Christmas/New Year holidays we are conducting Wintertime’@Prithvi season of plays and workshops.”

Kunal Kapoor
Kunal Kapoor at Prithvi Theatre, Juhu. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

A set of workshops is also part of the line up. One workshop, Capoeira, helps explore, awaken and develop a child’s balance, coordination, fitness and self-awareness through music and physical fun. Veteran actor Om Katare, who has been conducting such workshops for 25 years now, will head some of the workshops and is looking forward to this interaction.

"There is very little serious acting that you can do with children of six to nine years. Some children are good at storytelling; some are good at reciting while others are good at singing. Once they are here for the workshop, we take a day or two and then try and nurture what they inherently good at," he says. Katare adds that the workshops involve a lot of play and a bit of acting in between.

Trishla Patel, who has directed two plays that will be staged at the festival and produced one of them, is excited about the upcoming season. One of the plays, Wolf, is about children from Mumbai who visit a village in Madhya Pradesh.

“This story has multiple messages including that of saving forests and saving wolves, which are now an endangered species in the country,” she says. The other play, Growing Up, deals with the confusion and issues faced by a child after hitting puberty.

Kapoor sas staging a play for children is always a challenge. “Children make the most honest and interactive audience one can find — they are also brutally honest in their reactions — this is always a pressure on the performers and workshop conductors to do their best and keep the children involved,” he signs off.

Admissions From: December 16
At: Prithvi Theatre, Juhu
Call: 26149546

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