Jammu’s Children Theatre touching heights

Aarushi Thakur Rana
In the recent years the children theatre of Jammu has touched ultimate heights. Balwant Thakur’s children plays of Jammu like ‘Aap Hamare Hain Kaun’ and ‘Mere Hisse Ki Dhoop Kahan Hi’ are the longest living plays of India and are being staged all over the country since the year 1990.
Only last year for a popular National TV Children acting context, three children amongst top ten were from Jammu. Look at the volume of the country, if a small city like Jammu can take the thirty percent of the entire share of the country in a talent hunt then it speaks volumes about the local talent and the work being done in Jammu.
Every child is an artist and every child is unique, it is our duty as teachers and parents to transcend this uniqueness into greatness. The power of theatre is enormous. A giggly play session could actually teach you something! Theatre is a tool for empowerment and it makes learning easy to comprehend! Theatre is an ocean, it is multidimensional, it is a world compressed into one single word.
With the right amount of training, children can gain confidence to achieve to the best of their abilities. Last year, two of Natrang’s child artist made a big name on the silver screen, Vrinda Gujral was among the top two winners of the show Sabse Bada Kalakaar on Sony TV and she brought accolades to our state and Natrang. Satyam Mehra, another contestant of the show reached to top ten of the mega show on Sony Entertainment. The confidence with which they performed in front of the camera was a reflection of their amazing training in theatre.
Theatre is a sophisticated expression of basic human needs. For children it is an instinct to mimic and to tell stories through narratives and metaphors. This innate quality in children is enhanced and polished with the help of theatre. It is vital to understand that when phrases like ‘learning is fun’ and ‘play and learn’ are quoted, we can easily think of theatre as a means to learn in a child’s life. Hence, theatre is very vital for the overall development of a child.
With the growing competition every teacher and parent is following the rule of thumb, to break this monotony Natrang introduces theatre to the kids which brings freshness to the child’s imagination and helps them to grow intellectually. Since every child is special, it is important that we encourage them to open up to the best of their ability by giving them confidence. Nothing can beat the confidence a child gets by performing on stage. Every year, while concluding the Forty days workshop, the children will be performing a show for the audience to further boost their confidence and enhance their personality.
Theatre is one of the most effective medium of human development and Natrang in the last thirty five years has developed a creative training methodology for children, which has shown amazing results. Theatre is magical in transforming and grooming personalities. Children imbibe lot of self-confidence and they fine-tune their communication skills with the help of such training programmes. Every summer Natrang tries to infuse knowledge about theatre among children and gives them a platform to perform and gain confidence to be on stage. Summer theatre camps focus on acting training, speech training, imagination exercises and stagecraft.
Theatre and acting is a talent and it needs nurturing at every step. Although, to comprehend the essence of theatre it requires a long process of understanding; nevertheless, this short camp focuses on giving the basic knowledge of theatre to children to helps them develop their personality and mind. The young mind is gullible so it is very important to give children the right focus in their formative years. Theatre is that medium which can introduce children to the best of world literature, best of motivational stories, best of classics from across the world and give them a helpful psychological catharsis at the same time.
Natrang Jammu since last 28 years is organising regular children camps. This year’s camp will start from 8th June and this year too we will try to take in as many applications as we can and will expose the child to dance, drama, playmaking process, literature and much more. There are so many things a child can learn from theatre. It is not only a medium to get entertained but has developed over the years to become a vital medium of information and exposure to literature. If theatre is introduced at a very young age, it can bring a positive revolution in our society.