My Maya will Act
My Maya Will Act is a Forum theatre performance, which emerged at the end of a ten month long and intensive experiential learning process with the children who study third grade in Brighton Primary School, Chandola Lake Ahmedabad. This was a TeachforIndia classroom, which at the time of the process, was led by a wonderful, young, enthusiastic facilitator named Revanth. The journey of Maya began when Revanth and I collaborated with an intention to bring visible change in the lives and community of the children he taught, using theatre and expressive art.
The process was designed to engage children fully with the spaces and realities they inhabit through dialogues, mapping, criticism, artworks and theatre. It was a four-phase process, EIEI, which would scaffold their growth from being able Explore to Identify, to Embody and finally to Inspire.
The community that the children belong to faces acute problems of waste disposal, street violence and gender violence. The waste dumping yard of the city is away by 500mts and hence people there are always at high risk of illness and diseases. Through the Maya process and the influence of their brave and beautiful hearts, we and the children took up the challenge of bringing visible difference in the way they live and the surroundings they build. We deconstructed each of these conflicts, understood our roles in them, realized alternatives and worked our way all the way up towards inspiring other people in the community to join.
The performance was, hence, a display of three problems in the community – garbage, street violence and domestic violence – such that it invites alternative perspectives and possible solutions from the audience. The problems, enactment of these problems, the script of the performance, the ideas for maximum impact and the improvisations during interventions by the audience was entirely handled by these 9 year old children, who are empowered now and equipped with the intention, vision, and ability to continue inspiring.
The performance was inspired by the story of Maya, a young girl who goes on a journey of fighting evils and emerges successful. We all believed and requested hence that we all recognize the Maya in us and make it act towards the change she wishes to see. The key is to first look within.
Be Kind, Unwind
Be Kind, Unwind was a multilayered journey that came together in the shape of a musical drama, which not only told a story but also made one think and push them to being their kinder selves. Through the making of this play, our children evolved in their understanding of emotions, empathy and kindness, while also learning the skills of playmaking. And after a rigorous process of thinking and reflecting, what were displayed in the gallery and on stage were hand picked stories of those agents of kindness around the city, who inspire the world for better living.
Be kind, Unwind, hence, was a collection of stories, woven together, by two sutradhars, Mr. Get and Miss Muglee, who took us onto a journey of self discovery!
The Sutradhars of Be Kind, Unwind have been inspired by a Children’s book titled Miss Muglee met Mr. Get, written by Saker Mistry and Shaheen Mistry.