Sahana P

Arts Education

Grant Period: over one year

Sahana P is a graduate of the National School of Drama New Delhi, and currently working with theatre group Bhavaikyatha Vedike at Hospet, Ballari district, Karnataka. She has performed and directed many street and stage plays, and also conducted workshops in schools especially for under privileged children and those with disability. After completion of training at NINASAM, Heggodu, she was associated with its repertory Tirugata for a year. Participation in an international workshop conducted by ‘Bread and Puppet Theatre’ New York, has inspired to experiment with application of theatre methodologies in formal education. She has been awarded a Junior Fellowship from Ministry of Human Resource and Culture, Government of India, and the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation.

With the help of this grant Sahana will work with eighty children from the Sardar Vallab Bhai Patel High School in Hospet, using street theatre to sharpen their thinking, social and self-management skills and sensitising the students on the contemporary concerns in their environment.  

Sahana believes that street theatre is not just a moment's act. It is a participatory process which uses both facts as well as fictional narratives and thus can be used to communicate important social issues. It allows individuals to express themselves in their own unique way and is a vital tool for creating connections between themselves and the communities they are a part of. Sahana intends to use street theatre to increase self confidence, strengthen collaborative skills, improve learning, and expand the world view of her students through this project. The students will also be encouraged to understand the problems facing their society while at the same time using street theatre to connect with their school curriculum.

This project intends to bridge many worlds – that of learning opportunities within and outside the school; that of the culture in school and homes; that of home and the world outside. Besides voice culture, gesticulation sessions, folk songs and public speaking, a variety of other aspects of street plays will form part of the programme module, which includes sessions to help students use their creativity and imagination. Discussions on health and civic issues such as environmental pollution, communal harmony and water conservation would be taken up with students and teachers.

This programme also focuses on the selection, adaptation and shaping of material to make it suitable for an audience of children. Drama, dance, singing and music skills will be developed and applied in the creating of performances, specifically aimed at a young audience. Learners will explore likely and suitable material, whether published text or based on a stimulus, then select and shape it according to the target age group.

The project will culminate into fifteen inclusive performances at a few villages and towns near Hospet where all the children and members of the community will participate. Sahana hopes to sustain the initiative, post the grant period by collaborating with local organisations such as Bhavaikyatha Vedike to continue the arts awareness programmes.

The deliverables of the grant would include visual documentation. A ten to twelve minute video document is optional.

This grant was made possible with support from Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore and Citi India.