Playback Theatre : We listen to the story of the narrators and acted accordingly !!

Today (16th Oct 2018, 3.25 p.m.) as I entered the Birajdaar Basti(Hadapsar-Pune) I saw a kid standing at the corner of his house waiting for someone to talk.
I went up to him and asked, why are you so sad? What happened? Are you not feeling well ? He said I don’t know and he tightly hugged me and had kept his head on my shoulder saying, I don’t know and kept staring at my colleagues for long. it was a total bizzare experience, I dint knew what to do, there were so many kids like him and I could not do any more than just make them feel happy for a moment but then what for the second hour? Trash band again made it’s magic creating dance, energy, and attention. This time it was “the playback” where we listen to the story of the narrators and acted accordingly to make a small play out of it. The most challenging moment was the live improvised part of the actors and the musicians engaging audience at it’s most. Total there were 5 stories narrated each with a unique flavor and a challenge for artist to exactly portray it technically.

Initial the audience was a bit confused on what was happening but slowly they got into it. it was the best movement when kids started showcasing there talent by asking us all to play trash band and surprisingly, guess what? —#they did well. I personally got touched with the second story which was related to the safety of the basti people. It was regarding the cylinder blast. unfortunately, the people have got no Assurance on the safety of their life. Most of them are illiterate, they totally live there life on the blind trust of the others. I met an under age married girl, who was taking the initiative to deliver the information and guide us all throughout, it was a very thankful movement from our side and a mature response from her side. We even noticed that these people have a high level of grasping power, where they Understood each and every single idea we wished to convey through our act.

 For me the play back session was full of interesting stories.The best part was when the session got ended, we saw an old man making a food product and planning to sell it out in the market. By watching his condition and the amount of efforts he applied was really appreciable. he was very old that he couldn’t even walk but still he had that zest of earning and affording all his own expenses. I hope we make an another playback theatre activity on some other day along with the new narrations.

#Suraaj Nikumbh
Performing Artist/Musician (MHRI-Project)
Swatantra Theatre, Pune – India


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