Gillo comes to Karnataka with a travelling theatre festival for children
A bus with 10 performers and three plays is coming to Karnataka. This weekend, it heads to Bengaluru. Mumbai-based Gillo Repertory Theatre’s road trip, Gillo on the Go! comes with the promise to deliver dreams, share knowledge, open minds and entertain young audiences.
That extra mile
A brainchild of Shaili Sathyu, artistic director at Gillo (working exclusively in the area of Theatre for Young Audiences), this first-of -its-kind tour, is essentially bringing theatre closer to children, particularly for kids for whom theatre is out of reach. “We have always performed in big cities but now we are making a conscious effort to take theatre to places where we haven’t performed, in smaller towns and villages where children don’t have access to fancy venues and theatres,” says Shaili. This year, troupe Gillo kick-starts their first road trip in Karnataka. They first stop at Gubbi near Tumakuru, followed by Bengaluru (outskirts of the city and JP Nagar), then HD Kote near Mysuru, followed by Chama-rajanagara and lastly Heggodu. The 15-day tour will see them staging three plays, conducting workshops and hosting an open sharing session for artistes and educators.
The three plays to be staged are Catch That Crocodile (English), Hanuman Ki Ramayan (Hindi)
and One to Ten (Non-verbal). Catch That Crocodile is based on popular children’s author Anushka Ravishankar’s book of the same name. The story is about how a crocodile appears in town. Nobody is sure how it got there, but it needs to be caught and returned to the river. Hanuman Ki Ramayan is a nautanki (a form of Indian theatre that involves live music and dancing) based on Dr Devdutt Pattanaik’s short story. In this story, Valmiki who has barely put his pen down after completing his magnum opus — the epic Ramayan — realises he has competition. Sage Narad tells him that Hanuman has written a better Ramayan. What happens next is a delight to watch. One to Ten is based on short plays by playwright Qudsia Zaidi. This play is a portrayal of a family dealing with everyday situations in the most comical manner.
Talking about the adaptability of these plays to different spaces, Shaili says, “These are not proscenium plays, so they can be staged at different spaces. Each of them is about 45 minutes long, and the performance will be followed by an interactive session with the audience.” For children who aren’t exposed to live performances, this experiment might be overwhelming, but Shaili says, “Usually, our actors interact with children before the performance and break the ice. So when the kids see the same person performing, they don’t get intimidated by eye contact.”
November 4-5. At Untitled Space, JP Nagar. Details: 9483985437