As, we had a meeting with Swatantra team, Dhaneshree, Abhijeet, and other members on Thursday, 11 October, 2018, we discussed about Playback Theatre and planned to do it in the Basti as well. Today it was finally done in the Basti at two spots- one near the temple area and the other near canal.

We started with the play back theatre with the theme as Unforgettable memories, around 3:30 p.m. near the temple area with usual calling using the trash band this time. Once people were gathered we started off with the playback theatre. Both males and females were present in almost equal proportion including children. Krushan was acting as the conductor basically the facilitator and was asking questions to the audience members to draw out their stories. Initially people were hesitant to come up and speak but there was one person who was telling others to speak up and meanwhile shared a small incident that happened with him last week. This incident was being played then by the actors. After this play, another male from the audience shared his experience. Meanwhile, children themselves participated with the trash band team and played the instruments while the playback theatre was on.

The first person shared an incident where while saving a cat from a bike got hurt himself and could not even save the cat. This was enacted by actors, while they were planning what to enact the trash band was playing instruments with the children.

Second person shared an incident where he was coming back to his home from the work and heard of a blast which was a gas blast. He immediately called up the fire-bregade and saved lives of people. He also shared that in a situation where people should run or try to stop the fire, people were running away with their television sets. This was one of the unforgettable memories for him!

Next playback was done near canal area and again calling was done. Here there were less people as compared to the temple area and more females were present. Children’s population was similar like before and they all gathered to watch the playback. This group was not that open to share their stories in the starting. Then one girl came up and shared her experience which was enacted by the actors. We also asked people if anyone would like to sing and a group of girls sang a Marathi song, and few children were playing the trash band in the background. After this another girl and later a woman shared their experiences. Here we did three playbacks near canal.

After performing in both sites, Dhaneshree also asked people if they were interested to be a part of the Play Steering Committee. Few people did come up and gave their names for the same.

It was a different experience as up till now we’ve been doing street plays and people were just an audience and never participated themselves, but this time it was a collaboration of the Basti people and us. It was great to see people coming up and sharing their smallest experiences and enjoying it!



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