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Saturday, June 25, 2011

CHILDREN's THEATRE: Legacy of laughs and adventure!

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Theatre artist and writer Rekha Jain. Photo: Special Arrangement
Theatre artist and writer Rekha Jain. Photo: Special Arrangement - The Hindu.

Children's theatre is well and alive. Credit to Umang for staging a delightful play, “Gopu Ganesh Jhumjhum Haathi”.
Her active involvement with Indian People's Theatre Association as an artiste shaped her creative vision, her modesty and affability enabled her to establish friendly rapport with children. In the course of her long journey into the world of children theatre, she had written and staged a number of plays for children which they simply loved to watch. Rekha Jain's most important work is the establishment of Umang, a children's theatre group, in 1979, which took the shape of children theatre movement. After her demise, her family members, who are themselves creative persons, are keeping alive Umang with the same dedication Rekha Jain worked. It has instituted an award in her memory which is being given every year to an outstanding children theatre artiste.

True to its long established tradition of conducting summer theatre workshop culminating in a public show, this year's “Gopu Ganesh Jhumjhum Haathi” was staged at Kamani auditorium last week. The play is directed by K.G. Krishnamurti, who emphasised on the process-orientation rather than on performance orientation which gave children the feel of playing rather than doing the tedious job of performing in a well-made play. There was enough room for children for improvisation. What really delighted the audience was that children of different age group enacted their roles with enthusiasm and spontaneity, establishing lively rapport with the audience – mainly children and their parents.


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