Kolkata, January 2, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): As winter chill sets in, the City of Joy is witnessing theatre workshops and performances with a difference at ‘Muktadhara IV’, organized by the Jana Sanskriti – Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed, a theatre group that excels in Forum Theatre.
“Forum Theatre is based on the concept of spectators or the form of interactive theatre where spectators become actors by participating in the play that does away with the stage, curtains or other barriers between actors and spectators,” said Sanjoy Ganguly, Director & Founder Member, Jana Sanskriti.
The festival will see various kinds of workshops that include: forum theatre workshop, barrel workshop and puppetry workshop.
The seminars would see some leading theatre practitioners and academics talk on various aspects of the Theatre of the Oppressed.
Jana Sanskriti was started as an experiment 25 years ago by a group of dedicated people who saw it an effective means of social change.
Later, they came into contact with Augusto Boal of Brazil, the father of Theatre of the Oppressed, leading to the birth of Jana Sanskriti in Kolkata.
Jana Sanskriti has more than 25 teams in West Bengal alone, most of whom are agricultural labourers. Their plays range from domestic violence to political violence, reconstruction of public institutions to resistance against aggressive forms of development.
“Rather than using theatre to deliver development messages and services, we use the medium to establish a dialogue in the society,” Ganguly said.
“Today the greatest violation of Human Rights is the right to think. Through our theatre, we create a democratic space and allow dialogue to begin. This is what prevents one to follow anything blindly – be it an ideology or a person and this is empowerment,” he said.
Jana Sanskriti is the only group in the world to practice forum theatre in rural areas, claimed the members.
Earlier, the event was inaugurated on Dec 14 in Kolkata, and a barrel performance by German and Indian artistes was performed on the day.
Popular Tabla player Tanmoy Bose also mesmerized the audience with his power pact performance, thus giving the event the best possible start.
The festival will be held in Kolkata till Dec 18.
The last day of the festival will be marked by a colourful rally in Kolkata that will culminate at Curzon Park.