Thoughts….Why Theatre for children
by the Theatre Team
Theatre for young people or children need not be about entertaining. There is no dearth of entertainment in the lives of young people or adults and theatre therefore need not be seen as complimenting the world of television, cinema or educational awareness and growth. Theatre enables all this and much more and hence we need to think of theatre for children as a medium worth its name which works at multiple levels for a child as it does for adults. Theatre for children needs to be seen as something which communicates ideas provoking questions and enabling children to formulate an opinion and understanding of their own position in the world and of those around them. All of us who profess and practice the making of theatre, whether specifically for children or adults must realise that at the end of the day, theatre can only work if we make our audiences question and think through all we produce for them. If we think of children as beings who need things to be ‘explained’ to them instead of being equal partners in a conversation, then theatre for young people does not work. We might as well be honest; we can make good theatre for children only if we believe in it ourselves. So the importance of theatre for young people and especially in a place like India, is to break the shackles of doing fairy tales and stories of kings and queens just as fantasy because doing something like that in the name of simplifying is actually patronising a child and patronage has no place in pedagogy.