Bengaluru: Theatre on wheels
It’s not often that you hear of a road trip being crowd-funded, but Shaili Sathyu managed to do just that in a little over two months. Of course, it goes without saying that the theatre artist and founder of Mumbai-based children’s theatre group Gillo Repertory Theatre isn’t trying to take anyone for a ride.
While Gillo has been taking its plays to Bengaluru since its inception in 2010, this is the first time that the group is conducting a 15-day Karnataka tour—travelling to the state capital and smaller towns with three plays as well as workshops.
“The plan, initially, was to travel across different states in four-six weeks but that didn’t pan out for various reasons. We hope to do that in future. This tour is a pilot project of sorts,” says Sathyu.
The goal was to raise Rs5 lakh through crowd-funding; they have sourced Rs3 lakh so far.
The tour, christened Gillo On The Go, started with a performance at Gubbi, 90km from Bengaluru, on Thursday; it will reach Bengaluru on 4 November.
In the city, they will be staging three plays, Catch That Crocodile, One To Ten (both directed by Sathyu), and Hanuman Ki Ramayan (directed by Devendra Sharma), apart from conducting a two-day theatre workshop for children above the age of seven.
“We will perform Catch That Crocodile (based on a book by children’s author Anushka Ravishankar) in Bengaluru for the first time,” says Sathyu. The comical 40-minute English play is about how a little girl, Meena, comes up with an ingenious plan to outsmart a wily crocodile that has landed, quite mysteriously, in the middle of town. Sathyu’s second production, One To Ten, is a non-verbal play, while Hanuman Ki Ramayan is an adaptation of a short story written by Devdutt Pattanaik. “We have adapted the story in nautanki form. It is part of our series of short plays for young audiences, using various theatrical forms,” says Sathyu, adding that this is the second time they will be staging it in Bengaluru.
From Bengaluru, the 10-member troupe will travel to HD Kote, Chamarajanagar, Mysuru and Heggodu. “The idea is to take our work to newer audiences. As we gain the experience of performing for audiences in different parts of the country, the way we visualize and create our plays changes, and that’s important for us to evolve,” she adds.
Gillo On The Go will be held on 4-5 November, 3pm and 6pm, at Untitled Space, JP Nagar. Tickets, Rs250, available on In.bookmyshow.com.