Holistic growth through theatreA 15-day long children’s theatre workshop has concluded at the Theatre Mall in the Capital.
A 15-day long children’s theatre workshop has concluded at the Theatre Mall in the Capital. Organised by Theatre Centre for Children, Nepal (TCC), an organisation that has been working towards encouraging children’s participation in drama, in collaboration with Theatre Mall, the workshop saw the participation of a total of 12 children, of ages four to 14.
The participating children were introduced to the basics of theatre acting, through various games, role plays, and dialogue delivery.
On the first day of the fest, the organisers conducted a parents-children interaction. During the interaction, the parents were asked to find out the strenghths in their child, and later disclose it to the mentors.
The workshop drew to a close with a rendition of Ma Joker Banchhu, a children’s play written by Shanta Das Manandhar, one of the pioneers of children’s literature in Nepal. The play was directed by Kedar Shrestha, who was also one of the mentors at the workshop.
Ma Joker Banchhu tells the story of one day in the life of a father and a reserved child, who together chance upon a circus act. Seeing his father bursting with joy at the joker’s act, the child derives a sense that his father loves the joker more than he loves him. The play narrates this sense of inferiority the child goes through and its impact on the child psychology.
“The participation of children in artistic activities like drama is negligible in Nepal. Of late, though, some schools around the Valley have encouraged it, and include it in extra-curriculum activities,” director Shrestha said. “This workshop is not only about training the children to act but also about helping their holistic mental and physical development.”
Speaking about his experience at mentoring the children, Shrestha said, “When I am mentoring a child, I am not really mentoring them. I am playing along as their friend.” Shrestha added, “The workshop places its focus not on developing their acting talents per se, but aims to help them explore their talents and develop confidence. When I talked to the parents after the workshop, they told me that they have already begun noticing some change in behaviour of their children. It’s been a really humbling experience.”
According to Shrestha, some of the participants from last year’s edition of the annual workshop have made their way into Kollywood. Among others, Arvind Khadka acted in this year’s hit Jatra, and two of his other films are in the pipeline as well.
The workshop is part of the Assitej International’s (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) campaign, Let’s Take the Children to the Theatre.
Organisers say they aim to work with schools around the country to take the cause further.