Theatre at HSEA is part of our everyday! It has always been process-oriented, turning into interesting productions over time. The process uses the theatre art form and its discipline to work on an idea, a concept, a question, or an awareness of our surroundings.

‘Ideas’ that evolved into Theatre at HSEA 2023-24

Our theatre engagement through 2023-24 was very enriching, using games and basic exploration. Many of the explorations were sensorial and we worked with cardboard cartons, newspapers, and suji (yes, semolina). Entering, and getting out of the cartons kept at different angles and heights allowed for the organic flow of movements. Crushing a newspaper and folding it back was an exercise introduced and further embodied through the body adding one-word narratives like a wet newspaper, a torn newspaper, etc. Creating patterns with suji led to forming images which slowly became short narratives.

Our second graders created two plays:
Knock Knock! It’s Dome Dome!! and Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja!

About Knock Knock! It’s Dome Dome!!

A mysterious threat emerges in the sea, dividing the students and sailors on board as they weigh the decision to resolve the threat through violence rather than peace.

The play was devised and created, growing from an idea to a story, and tracing the journey from the assertion that war is unnecessary to the pivotal question, "Is war truly necessary?"

Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja is a satire which questions political autocracy and its effects on society with funny metaphors and idioms. Three thieves come across a strange city and a strange king where everything holds equal value. At first glance it is very tempting and sounds like the best place to live in. But a deeper look into the city changes their perspective.

Grade 3 came up with the concept of Dots and Lines.

What happens when a dot expands, when a dot joins another dot and what happens when this dot becomes a long line? What kinds of lines are there and where do we see dots and lines in our everyday? Children explored this idea through movement and group images.

Grades 4 and 5 split up into groups and worked on their ’ideas’. What emerged were some amazing theatrical performances!

One group worked on the idea of holes which led to their project on Sinkholes. This work was to explore the mysteries of holes, how our bodies react to them and what emotions we would experience while interacting with them. Through movement, children shared where they could find drainage holes, and asked, if these drainage holes could communicate, what would their feelings be? What gets stuck in a sinkhole and what is the relationship of these stuck objects with water and their journey through the sink.

Some children worked on the idea of Chairs and the role of chairs in our day-to-day spaces. What role does a chair play? How do chairs define a space in their arrangement, in their use, in the style in which they are made. For example, a chair as a wheelchair versus chairs in a restaurant versus chairs in a school.

This project helped everyone understand and imagine the characters and spaces that emerge through chairs.

Looking at the idea of making and breaking, through miniature bricks- bricks that are used to construct buildings and walls and further conceptualising these to what we build in our own lives like Trust, Friendship or Reputation was fascinating.

This group also worked with the idea of everyday objects like an oven, a wallet, a blanket etc. and tried to imagine secrets of these objects to develop narratives and scene work.

Some children worked with the idea of Water. Through movement and images, they explored sources of water, water with different temperatures which further developed to creating scenes on wastage of water, to scenes on one last drop of water. These triggers helped the exploration of varied scenes based on water.

For Grade 6 it was working on several ideas through scene work.

Some ideas were developed through conversations. One such interesting discussion in class led to understanding and thinking about the Swiggy/ Zomato world we live in where everything happens by just a click.

This led to multiple improvisations which triggered exciting conversations.

Also, we worked on a scene from a script and tried to understand the multiple forms of theatre and how the scene changes through these forms.

Grade 7 worked with text and the children divided themselves into groups where each group selected a director, a writer, and a set of actors from their own teams. They created their pieces and devised their scenes.

The aim was to give our children the ownership to create and manage their unique creative dynamics.

In 2022 our middle school children had been introduced to a script, an adaptation of the play written by Daniel A Kelin, derived from Satyajit Ray’s iconic film ‘Goopy Gaine Bagha Baine’. This script was written specifically for students, so it had the playfulness and accessibility to Ray’s work and, of course, we could not miss the opportunity of enacting it! And so, the rehearsals began.

The script underwent modification and alterations during the rehearsals, keeping the ethos of the theatre programme at HSEA in mind that children must relate and respond to the script with their own experiences and thoughts.

Facilitated by our Theatre team, this led to the play that opened in 2022 at our school amphitheatre. The amphitheatre organically led as a set to the play - the trees, the multiple entries, and the circular play area which fitted like a hand in a glove. The play is centred on the famous characters crafted by Satyajit Ray, Goopy and Bagha who are musicians. So, after an amazing theatrical play, it was inevitable that the HSEA production should develop further with songs and music. This is where the Theatre team joined hands with the Music team. Inspired by the element of music, an immense possibility to make it into a musical emerged- and the outcome was our very first musical, The Musical Adventure of Goopy and Bagha.