DU colleges to perform street plays in schools,public areas

Students of the Delhi University are looking at street theatre to spread awareness on issues ranging from homosexuality to the recent terrorist attacks in the country.

Written by Hamari Jamatia | New Delhi | Published:January 20, 2009 12:32 am

Students of the Delhi University are looking at street theatre to spread awareness on issues ranging from homosexuality to the recent terrorist attacks in the country.

Youths from 21 colleges of DU and IIT-Delhi are coming together to perform street plays in government schools and public places as part of Manthan ‘09,the annual theatre festival of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies,starting Saturday.

Schoolchildren are the main target audience of this month-long “awareness movement”,as the organisers “intend to sensitise them before they step out into the world,where they will gradually take control of their decision making”.

The college has already taken permission from the Directorate of Education and is collaborating with half-a-dozen organisations,including the National Commission for Women.

Kartikeyi Batra,a member of Verve,the drama society at the college,said Manthan ‘09 comes at a time when it is needed the most. “Our country is plagued by internal and external crises,including last year’s terror attacks,communal riots,regional rifts,crimes against women and a complete political paralysis. Through the plays,we are just trying to mobilise the youth on all these issues,” he said.

The issues to be explored through street plays include homosexuality,child trafficking,preserving Hindi,child rights,sex education and mob psychology,among others.

When asked if street theatre can actually attract the crowds,Kartikeyi said there was no harm in trying. “In schools,children are more open to the idea of street plays. I am sure we will find an audience,” he said.

Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies is going to start a two-day orientation programme on Thursday,where participating colleges will be told about the nature of the plays to be performed. On Tuesday,January 27,the event will kick off with a two-hour performance at the Arts Faculty in DU.

“Street theatre is very affordable and we don’t need much funding. Whatever requirements we have,we are meeting them with the help of some sponsors,” Kartikeyi said.

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