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Children weave ideas for the perfect story
- School students learn narrative techniques from veteran actor at Kilkari Bal Bhavan theatre workshop

First, it started with a sentence. Slowly, it was a story.

Students of Kilkari Bihar Bal Bhavan learnt about narrative techniques on Wednesday from thespian M.K. Raina, who has worked in more than 100 plays but is famous especially for his role in Taare Zameen Par.

Raina had essayed the role of the principal of New Era High School in the 2007 Aamir Khan-starrer.

Conducting a theatre workshop for Kilkari students in Patna, Raina said: “One of the sessions we had was storytelling where children learnt narrative skills. First, one student came up with a sentence. Then, the next student had to take the story forward by adding another sentence. It continued in this manner till the story was complete.”

He added that such an exercise stimulated the imagination of the children.

A National School of Drama, New Delhi, passout, Raina, has experimented with both urban and rural theatre forms and performed abroad in Berlin, Russia and Hawaii. The artiste was a tad critical of contemporary education techniques that depend more on “pre-conceived notions” and less on creativity.

“We should allow our children to explore their talents on their own. This helps them to grow,” he said.

Accompanying Raina at the five-day workshop are three other experts, including artist Veer Munshi. The purpose of organising the workshop is teaching students “different disciplines of art in different ways”, said sources.

Students at the workshop were as happy and excited as their instructors. One of them, Kavita Kumari, who studies in Class VIII at Rajkiya Kanya Madhyavidyalaya, Gardanibagh, said: “I loved the activities today (Wednesday).”

Another enthusiast at the workshop, Neelam Kumari, a Class VIII student of Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalaya, said: “I enjoyed painting with others. I have always painted alone, never with so many people of my age.”

Artist Munshi said: “As most of the children in the workshop don’t know each other, we made them paint on the same canvas. This helped break the ice.”

The organisers were also happy with the progress on the first day. “The canvas looks so bright and beautiful. This is a first-of-its-kind event,” said Kilkari programme officer Anita Thakur.


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