Last Updated: January 09, 2023, 14:06 IST
Connections, the prestigious youth theatre festival by the National Theatre in London, has made its way to India. Established in 1995, the programme has been giving opportunities to young people to perform remarkable plays written for them by international playwrights. With Connections India, a rewarding outcome of its long – standing association with the National Theatre, the NCPA joins the glorious network of 300 theatre companies that shine a spotlight on 6000 young people every year.
Mr. Khushroo N. Santook, Chairman, NCPA expresses, “The NCPA is proud to launch Connections India, created in association with the National Theatre in the UK. We begin 2023 with an exciting new youth theatre festival. It is a festival with great ambition for the future, with teacher training as well as engagement with schools from across the city. This will evolve into a truly national movement in the years ahead incorporating new writing as well as teacher and director training.”
Helmed by Anahita Uberoi, Creative Learning Director for Theatre, and Shernaz Patel, Creative Learning Producer for Theatre, at the NCPA, along with Bruce Guthrie, Head of Theatre & Films, they are gearing up for a grand showcase of the 8 productions over 4 days after months of preparation, marking the beginning of the New Year with a celebration of theatre, new writing, and collaboration. The list of eight schools includes three NGOs as well – Teach for India, Angel Xpress and Aseema.
Guthrie shares, “These are plays directed by professional directors and written by award-winning playwrights for and performed by young people based on themes and subjects that concern them directly.”
The festival especially caters to the post-pandemic need for children to belong to a team. It endeavors to encourage students to engage in creative learning while fostering interdependence, trust and confidence.
Speaking about the festival, Uberoi says, “This generation will change the world. Their views and ideals are so potent. Connections India gives them a platform to present their world through theatre. They deep dive into the process of theatre making with professional Directors in a process that gives them a voice that’s strong and powerful. I can’t wait to see the plays performed!”
Shernaz Patel, who is also an acclaimed film and theatre actor, says, “Connections places young people centre stage like no other youth theatre project I have encountered before. The scripts are written specifically for young people by award winning international playwrights and are the stars of the show.’’
Trishla Patel, Sheena Khalid, Rachel D’souza, Gurleen Judge, Vishal Handa, Aakash Prabhakar, Sapan Saran and Amey Mehta are the eight directors who will be showcasing their work in this first season.
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