The Telegraph
Thursday , January 3 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Theatre fest gives voice to agony of children
- Troupes from Bengal, Bihar, Delhi and Rajasthan to take part in three-day festival beginning today

Jan. 2: Theatre groups from different parts of the country are all set to narrate the agony of children during a five-day theatre festival starting tomorrow.

With participation of plays from states like Bengal, Bihar, Delhi and Rajasthan, the National Children’s Theatre Festival will be held at Rabindra Bhawan.

The festival will be inaugurated with a Hindi play, Final Justice, based on a story called Nyay, written by Rabindranath Tagore tomorrow evening.

The play will be staged by Bihar Bal Bhawan, an organisation set up by the education department of Bihar to highlight the talent of the less-privileged children of the state.

Talking to reporters, members of Guwahati Sishu Natya Vidyalaya, the organiser of the festival, said this was the second time they would organise the event and added that the festival was a success last year.

Three Assamese plays — Budhuram by Seagull and Shishu Sarothi, Moi Tunie Tuntunalu by Ba theatre group and In The Classroom by Guwahati Sishu Natya Vidyalaya — will be performed during the festival.

Jalpaiguri Kalakushali from West Bengal will stage Indur, directed by Raja Bhattacharjee, Curio from Rajasthan will stage Padai Par Karo Chadai, directed by Gagan Mishra and Priyadarshini Mishra and Theatre Garage Project from Delhi will stage Clown Town, directed by Vivek Kumar.

Indur is about the relentless pressure and rat race among children and its dreaded effect on them.

Here, the group will portray how an 11-year-old boy attempts suicide when he fails in examinations.

Padai Par Karo Chadai raises a question on those parents, who take examinations as a status parameter and pressure their wards to an extent that they lose their childhood and even commit suicide on several occasions.

The play In The Classroom narrates the imagination and fantasy of a child about their schoolteacher, subjects they study and their parents.

Manik Roy, joint secretary of the organisation, said on Friday and Saturday they would arrange extra shows for children.

“The shows will be held at 10am on those two days so that the children can come without much problem,” he said.

“Besides, we will organise a symposium on the topic ‘Drama and Education’ at 2pm on Sunday. People like Aswat Bhat from Delhi and Gagan Mishra from Rajasthan will participate in the symposium,” Roy said.

Sishu Natya Vidyalaya was established in 1998 and since inception has continuously worked for children’s theatre.

Apart from imparting training on acting, it is involved in other activities and focuses on overall development of children’s personality.

Rojar Deol, Poster, Platform, Ami Puhar Bisari Palou, Sishu, Beli Uluar Sadhu, Dhunumoina, Anubhav, Deuka (The Wings), In the Classroom and Shaan (Shadow) are some of its productions.