Given below is an article of one of our show at "the
onsite workers labor camp"
a personal bond with interactive theatre
Reporter, The Hindu,
Last Sunday, about 75 adults and 100 children at a labour
camp here had a brush with drama. They were witness to a form
of theatre, Playback Theatre, brought alive by a city-based
group, "Yours Truly Theatre". For the record, "Yours
Truly" is one of the new members of the IPTN (International
Playback Theatre Network).
tree was decked up with brilliantly coloured saris to serve
as the backdrop. The actors dressed in colourful costumes,
painted faces and sporting big red noses were ready to dive
in. The show began as planned with a mime performance.
the uninitiated, in a playback theatre performance, the audience
react and share stories with the actors, who in-turn enact
these on stage. It can be extremely demanding for the actors,
but highly satisfying for the audience.
The first question for the audience was, "What was
that they liked
about the place? The children had various answers such as
"I like the shop which sells sweets, I love the trees,
and I like the people here."
first story was about Lalbi Begum, about how she and her husband
along with their four children lived in a village in north
Karnataka. The land had no rain and no irrigation facility.
The village was filled with poverty, and the husband met his
friend who suggested to them that they go to Bangalore and
make money. They landed in Bangalore in due course.
actors used storytelling as a technique with Kannada songs
and patterns to act out the story. Lalbi was delighted to
watch her story being performed back to her by the actors.
The effect was personal and the bond created by playback theatre
second story was by "Sunny Verma" who landed from
U.P., after he realised that he would no longer earn any money
and with a fear that his family would soon perish. He knew
that time was short and his wife was waiting for him back
home. His 12 friends who accompanied him to Bangalore were
already missing U.P. They wanted to get back home. But Sunny
was trying to dissuade them from returning.
the middle of the performance, the children clapped and laughed
as the jokers entertained them. There was one girl aged around
four, who simply got up with joy and started clapping.
Elated by the response, the people behind "Yours Truly",
Nandini, wanted to return for a show with full lights, sounds,
costumes, special effects and much more. "We want to
reach out to the other labour camps and bring a smile on the
children's face, who are going through so much of suffering
in life. Ours is a small effort,"
summed up Nandini.
a glimpse of the labour camp: over seven years ago, a situation
arose in Bangalore city that demanded immediate action by
committed people with vision.
of migrants from drought-prone areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
and Andhra Pradesh flocked to the city in an attempt to make
a sustainable living. Unfortunately, handicapped by lack of
education or any other skills, they were forced to work as
labourers.To tackle this problem, the Outreach Onsite programme
was launched in 1993 for the children of migrant construction
workers.Day Care centres were established at the construction
sites, with trained teachers to provide primary education
for the children. The children were given breakfast and lunch.Health
workers and doctors paid regular visits to the centres.