Working group: the theatre experience for the children of the future?

How to develop better ways of working in the performing arts sector today – and in the future? As part of How to Live and Work Now?, we are inviting six artists, collectives and researchers to set up self-organized collective working groups.

For Satchit Puranik, Pranav Patadiya and Eszter Nemethi, 2020 was a year of impossible conversations about the future – from a distance and in proximity –, that brought their working group together. The central question for their research is: how do we reimagine the ‘theatre’ experience for the children of the future? 

This question came out of shared interests and occupations: together with his partner Anitha Santhanam, Satchit was about to premiere a children’s play in April 2020, when the safest place in the world – the stage – suddenly became dangerous. While Eszter and Satchit had bonded over the documentary theatre genre in 2013, last year they ‘ran’ into each other virtually at Kaaitheater for an impossible conversation on the future by Building Conversation. Satchit and Pranav founded Chikka Dodda Art Lab in June 2020 to blur the lines between art and activism. Eszter joined them, having just created a book and theatre piece with terminally ill children which made her question her own notions of the future on the eve of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Anitha and Satchit are expecting their first child!

They will be working together across Bangalore and Brussels, and in collaboration with children aged from 6 to 12 years, on a theatre sample toolkit that can be used in their virtual classroom-theatre platforms. How does the world of the fable ignite the imagination of children? What conventional forms have these fables been adapted to in the performative sense? How do we deconstruct, dissect, disrupt, and reconstruct the theatre experience for children? How do the concepts of playground, workshop, theatre space, performance, audience reshape in the context of multimedia, physical distancing and open space sessions in ventilated libraries – in times of listening rooms and open air screenings?   

 

Theatre maker Eszter Nemethi (1987, Budapest) works with ‘real’ non-actor performers and collaborators, strongly defined spaces and has a special attention for the audience's experience and engagement. Over the past years, Eszter has been exploring the use of game-mechanics and interactivity. She is currently the recipient of the Arts Council’s Arts Participation Bursary Award and the artistic director of the Cork based Makeshift Ensemble.

Pranav Patadiya is a Bangalore based theatre practitioner and film maker. He is co-founder of the amateur theatre group Tanaririn, which has been actively doing Hindi and English plays for the last 6 years in Bangalore. Together with Satchit, he is a co-founder of Chikka Dodda Art Lab which looks at the intersection between art practices and activism. Their first film is the collage film Mard Humdard/Male Empath, an essay documentary about non-toxic masculinities in Hindi cinema.

Satchit Puranik is a multilingual writer, theatre maker and film maker. As a theatre maker, he made Karl Marx In Kalbadevi, Loitering, Ammi Jaan (with Anitha Santhanam), Family 81, Mahabharata (with Frascati Production) and he collaborates with Building Conversations. He is co-founder of Chikka Dodda Art Lab and worked for Men Against Violence & Abuse (Mumbai).

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How to Live and Work Now? In the Arts and Beyond.
How to Live and Work Now? In the Arts and Beyond.

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Wed 02.12.20

These times demand something new: a radical revolution. Kaaitheater is therefore cancelling its scheduled live programme until 1 March. We are using the time that has become available to reflect on what we do, how we do it, and what can change.