Bengaluru's Ranga Shankara opens its foyer for talks, art practice, and readings

The theatre venue introduces RS Connect, an outreach programme to bring artists and patrons together for cultural activities

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  10th September 2020 04:47 PM   |   Published :   |  10th September 2020 04:47 PM

An RS Connect session

It's been over six months since plays and other performing arts shows have been staged at any venue. While some of the artistes have adapted to the ‘new normal’ by going digital, not everyone has taken this route. So, how does a venue like Ranga Shankara that hosts nearly 400 shows a year, cope with this situation? Although the organisation has been active online, it’s offering something new. With the lockdown easing and the gradual relaxation of restrictions, the hub of arts and culture is hosting an offline initiative that seems to be the need of the hour.

RS Connect, an outreach programme that includes talks, poetry and plays readings, was launched earlier this week. Dr Shekhar Seshadri, senior professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Associate Dean, Behavioural Sciences, NIMHANS, hosted the first session. Though his conversation with Arundhati Nag, founder, Ranga Shankara, was streamed on the social media pages of the organisation, the professor was also in conversation with a group of 30 persons at the venue. He discussed the topics of well-being and the impact COVID-19 has had on one’s life. He was accompanied by Kavya Srinivasan who translated the talk into sign language.

“Theatre as an art form is therapeutic and we as an organisation felt it was our obligation at a time like this to alleviate the mental stress that people have been going through by starting RS Connect,” explains Samyuktha Manogaran, programme associate at Ranga Shankara. This weekend, the conversations will continue and Dr Seshadri will speak on topics such as children and parenting, uncertainty and insecurity, and special people with special needs.

“Performances may not happen for a while. But we have opened up the foyer at Ranga Shankara for artists, musicians and dancers to use for their practice,” offers Samyuktha. The talks and readings are free to attend. To adhere to social distancing norms, the foyer has a limited seating, hence the audiences are requested to book their seats prior to the event.

Sunday, at 6.15 pm. At JP Nagar