The Dot and the Line
The Dot and the Line is a theatrical translation of an old animation film with the same name, written by Norton Juster and produced and directed by Chuck Jones.
The project viewed the ideas of freedom and chaos through the eyes of Grade 3 children at Anand Niketan School, Ahmedabad.
The design of the process was aimed at creating an environment for discussing behavior, stereotyping, subtlety and choice. The theme of the play allowed children to draw connections from the story to their personal lives. Children also identified and discussed the meaning and significance of a word that is so frequently used, misused, and yet not fully understood - Freedom.
The entire production took about 20 sessions across the span of three months within the school hours, with children having complete ownership. All the props, costumes, monologues to dance sequences were visualized and produced by the children.
In a nutshell, the process of production involved:
a) reflective exercises, exchanges/sharing personal stories
b) reading, listening to, discussing the story of the play
c) understanding characters through multiple questions, games, exploratory methods
d) Embodying characters, assuming roles, living the lives of the characters.
e) Internalizing characters, expression as the character.
f) Identifying metaphors within to story. connecting to self.
g) Understanding the art of making performance.
h) Expressing through artworks. (eg: depicting sadness, happiness, chaos, etc. through colors and paper, which later turned into backdrops)