December 1998 – March 1999. Editor: Anjum Katyal
Theatre as a medium of communication has proved its impact, especially in this country today. Immediate, direct, bypassing the barrier of illiteracy because of its oral and visual qualities, with the scope for being interactive, it is an effective method of spreading a message, provoking thought and triggering discussion. We at STQ have always valued the effectiveness of theatre in any movement for change, be it social, political or personal. During the course of our documentation of different activist theatre initiatives, we realized that we were strategically positioned to develop linkages and programmes which fused arts resources and social activism. The situation usually is that groups involved in social activism of different kinds are often interested in exploring theatre as a tool or medium of communication, integrating it into their work. However, they have neither the funds, the time nor the expertise to introduce it in any systematic way into their already overcrowded and pressured work schedules. On the other hand, theatre persons and theatre groups who have the necessary training, technique and skill which these activist groups could learn from, are also busy with their own priorities and lack the organizational resources, the knowledge, the contacts, or the finances to coordinate on their own with such groups and work out a mutual collaboration. This is where we saw STQ as having a role to play. We wished to encourage, indeed promote, the use of theatre as both process and medium for development and activist work. Our links with the theatre world had, over the years, developed so that we were familiar with the different kinds of theatre people were doing. We could bring these two areas together, coordinate the collabor- ation, and document the entire process for further dissemination through the journal to be of use to others who might wish to undertake a similar project. Thus began the Theatre for Change initiative.
CONTENTS Theatre For Change Project Documentation Theatre as a Magnifying Lens A Participant/Observer Report Sameera Iyengar Look, Here I am A Playscript 'It was like we were here to play, relax, discuss' Group Discussion More about Forum A question and Answer Session 'Group building is very important' Jana Sanaskriti Evaluates the Workshop Theatre is a very powerful medium: A statement from Swayam Anuradha Kapoor A Note on Swayam Theatre is...a game, but not just any game can be theatre' A Resource Person's Report Jayoti Bose Working with the Younger Children at Jabala Extracts from a Process Report Gopa Das 'We wanted to bring some colour into their lives' A Statement from Jabala Kusum Gupta and Baitali Ganguly The Village Ruffians Don't Mess With Them Theatre Living Laboratory Playwright, Director, Activist An interview with Tripurari Sharma Kulavai 1999: A Report Sameera Iyengar Theatre Activism In Britain: Some Examples ...New Forms And New Approaches An Interview with Habib Tanvir Theatre Log Jerzy Grotowski: An Obituary Letters Download the complete issue here