An opportunity for self exploration
By Samta Shikhar
Director of Theatre at Head Start
Theatre at Head Start is a form of art introduced to children as an opportunity for self exploration and discovery.
To be able to think, question and thus be aware. The medium of theatre at Head Start is not to learn the skill of performance but to be able to use it as creative expression of one’s own thoughts and ideas. Create from what we know, search the unknown, see what we can’t see, reflect on what exists and then create with it.
Some children would like to explore this journey through acting, some through words, some through making something tangible (like a piece of art or an installation); all this makes theatre.
The facilitator at Head Start doing theatre simply triggers the session with a question or a concept or text and then channelizes the immense energies that the children bring up in response; either making it a play or writing an original script or doing an exhibition or simply leaving the session open ended to become aware, reflect upon and internalise.
The theatre programme is divided into two parts; one is actually doing theatre and the other is receiving it. Receiving it means our children are taken to watch plays, visit art galleries, speak to artists about the process of their creation, walk down a street, take a bus drive, go to a junkyard and let theatre happen in the mundane and the ordinary as well.
The relationship of a facilitator and the children in the session is one of collaboration between the two. In turn the experience becomes very satisfying and inspiring for both; the facilitator as an artist evolves and the children do more and more, and we can never have enough!