•   Theatre and Drama for Children

There is no more contention amongst educationists that classroom academic pursuits are not enough to promote the over-all development that education is committed. To produce a competent individual other constructive activities which offer a wide platform for personal growth and expression are now recognised as imperative. Children and Young People require activities for emotional release, creative expression, physical and language development, social and group interaction and other stimulative experiences for development.

  1. Plays: Children respond spontaneously to Drama and although The Playhouse’s emphasis of children’s theatre is not on performances, playing to an ‘audience’ helps children to employ theatrical skills acquired during workshops in performances which call forth a wide range of skills and abilities for a successful performance as means towards an end. It also helps children to explore their interest in theatre, other related Performing Arts and Arts in general.
  2. Workshops: This is the main thrust of The Playhouse. Drama workshops for children of suitable age are held to enhance their personality, add to their confidence in themselves and to sensitize them to different life-situations. The process of using Drama in workshops helps children in discovering their untapped physical, emotional, mental and social potential. It is, in fact, difficult to list-down the varied and rich usefulness of drama workshops for children as a platform of self- expression aiming at developing and extending personal resources, not necessarily for any theatrical intention, but for individual enrichment. Workshops may or may not culminate in a performance in which improvisations and scripts devised by children are usually used. This is still a comparatively new approach in India where there is no distinction made between Theatre and Drama; where there is practically no serious study of these subjects as part of the curriculum; and, Theatre as such, then becomes a show-piece, a part of the extravaganza called Annual Day Celebration’!
  3. Knowledge Camps: Short camps are held for children to educate them about the various aspects of drama and theatre, e.g., stage/theatrical make-up, sound effects, scenic design, music, auditorium details/technical names, stage craft, costumes, lighting, traditional styles, instruments, information re History/present status of Indian Theatre and Styles/Practises in other parts of the World.
  4. For Special Children: Even though The Playhouse considers all children to be special and gifted in their own ways, it cannot be denied that there are Children with Special Needs who also require activities for emotional release, creative expression, physical and language development social and group interaction and other stimulative experiences for development. Depending on the need, children can profit immensely by the selective use of what is termed Drama-Therapy. Given adequate time, it can be used meaningfully for both developmentally challenged children as well as for ‘gifted’ and ‘precocious’ children – terms given by adults!