Engaging young minds through theatre

Engaging young minds through theatre
Highlights

The Center for Arts Media and Social Welfare (CAMS) is actively involved in promoting theatre arts across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, training children as theatre practitioners besides providing them a platform to perform at State and national level cultural festivals and competitions.

The Center for Arts Media and Social Welfare (CAMS) is actively involved in promoting theatre arts across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, training children as theatre practitioners besides providing them a platform to perform at State and national level cultural festivals and competitions.

The organisation also takes up awareness campaigns to highlight issues like education, health, hygiene and environment for the benefit of the underprivileged sections of society through plays and theatre performances.

In one such endeavour, the NGO recently conducted theatre workshops for underprivileged children in Hyderabad and Secunderabad at the Haajipalli village, Shaadnagar, Mahabubnagar District.

“We are team of 25 artistes and all the members have theatre background, most of them are specially trained and experienced in the field of children theatre and applied theatre,” informs UoH theatre alumni, Dr M Altaf Hassan, who manages CAMS.

Summer theatre workshops conducted in association with Move the Wheel Foundation from May 26 to June 2 at two government schools; one at Khajaguda Lower Primary School and another at Indresham Upper Primary School, Patancheru.

Summer theatre workshops were also conducted at communities and slums of twin cities conducted from June 3 to 20 at Chintabai in Chilkalaguda, Bandamaismmanagar in Domalguda, Ambedkarnagar in Mudfort basthi, Fatehnagar in Sanathnagar, Vinobhanagar in Lalapet, Jyothinaga in Domalguda, Lakshminagar in Cantonment, Prakashnagar in Begumpet.

Around 400 children were benefitted from these workshops. The one-month workshop started for Association For Promotion Social Action (APSA) home girls from May 4 and culminated recently; most of the children there are from single-parent homes and orphans.

“We are conducting summer theatre and other theatre workshops since eight years in association with APSA NGO,” Dr Altaf informs. Elucidating the significance of theatre in education, Dr Altaf says, “It is a good learning method in which children engage directly with each other and work together with a view to finding solutions in achieving social cohesion and mutual understanding.

The impact was great and encouraging “The workshops were a good method of educating children about the issues like peaceful coexistence, education, family values and gender equality.

The discussions and responses from the children were very useful and revealing. Every day the workshop ended with discussions about the day, participatory creative processes of the classes a creative dialogue between instructors and children was wonderful experience,” he shares.

“Through our theatre workshops they explored their feelings, lessened their fears and understood problems of others. The workshop particularly helped introvert children. These activities made them learn bonding of relations among the group. Inhibitions, preoccupations and many phobias of the child psyche were removed to a great extent.

The children, community adults (audience) feel that the theatre arts play a significant role in our culture and communities and they are important to children and youth so we took a head up from this and conducted these workshops,” Dr Altaf adds.

The staging of creative skits towards the end of workshop was a means to bring to fore children’s hidden or repressed experiences. “The strong partnership with the participating schools is giving children continuous exposure to theatrical activities,” Dr Altaf concludes.

By Navin Pivhal

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