Last Updated: January 19, 2023, 18:31 IST
National Theatre in London’s prestigious youth theatre festival has now debuted in India. Titled Connections, the festival, started in 1995, aims to bring together children and gives them an opportunity to perform plays written by mavericks. With Connections India the NCPA becomes one among 300 theatre companies around the world that shine a spotlight on 6000 young people every year.
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.
For playwright Shernaz Patel, Creative Learning Producer for Theatre, NCPA, this festival is special because it puts young adults centre stage.
“It empowers them to make theatre that is written for them and created by them. Secondly these are all plays that have been written by renowned playwrights and developed with inputs from young people. They are current, challenging and relevant. Thirdly the plays have been directed by professional directors giving the kids a very professional theatre experience. Lastly they have the opportunity to perform their plays at the NCPA with a professional team supporting them under professional conditions. All of these enrich and impact these kids lives in a myriad different ways,” she explains.
Anahita Uberoi, Creative Learning Director says, “Connections is an intiative that gives children a deep dive into acting and theatre making. The plays are written by award winning playwrights specifically for the age group of 13-18. The plays deal with their issues, environment and hopes. Unlike school plays, these are hard core, performance based, compact plays. They are thought provoking and yet, very much like this age group, are filled with idealism, bite and humour as well.”
The festival has 8 plays being performed by 8 Mumbai schools. There will be 2 plays on each day which will tell a wide range of stories from around the world.
Patel is particularly excited about this collaboration and its future. “This is only our first year. Next year we will be doubling the number of schools and hope to work with 16 schools. We intend to keep growing over time and expand to other cities so that Connections can touch the lives of young people around the country,” she says.
Oberoi hopes this festival increases the participants every year. “It will also spread to other cities in time. Its about spreading the sheer joy of theatre making,” she concludes.
Date – 19th to the 22nd of January
Venue – Jamshed Bhabha Theatre Box, NCPA
Time – 6:00 PM Onwards
Each play will be for 60 mins.
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