Amateur and professional theatre artistes, some of them students, some of them social workers, all of them young, took the stage at ICCR on Thursday with the confidence of veterans.
Participants in the Voices of Now: India workshop conducted by Arena Stage, the oldest regional theatre in the US, in association with the American Center, staged the finale of their three-day session on Thursday evening.
Without costumes, without props, using only their body and voice, the participants treated the audience to a forceful presentation.
Their act, titled Power Play, was all about how they see power. Created from their writings and observations, that were recorded by Arena Stage, it held up various aspects of power play in society from gender oppression to oppression in the name of religion and politics.
“The focus of today’s performance is on the International Day of the Girl Child. It will give voice to the girls’ stories and help us understand what we can do to raise awareness and better their circumstances all across the world,”said Dean Thompson, US consul-general in Calcutta.
The artistes, as Arena Stage calls them, talked about what a single woman faces in Delhi and in Calcutta, how a man is pressured by the title of the bread-earner and how “we” have the power to make a difference.
“Voices of Now is a devised theatre programme and all the plays that we create only exist because of the artistes in the room. The plays are always autobiographical and explore important social questions that are on their minds and are important to their communities,” said Ashley Forman, director of education, programming, and founder of Voices of Now.
The performance ended with a Q&A between the artistes and the audience.