“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ~ Oscar Wilde
And indeed with its live presentation, the artists connect better with their audience, leave a lasting impact by its tradition of living in the present, transparency and immediate gesture or word.
Initiated in 1961 by International Theatre Institute, the World Theatre Day is celebrated across the world on 27th March. With an aim to generate interest and awareness of this important medium of art in future generations, an yearly message by prominent stage artist, translated in more than 50 languages, is conveyed to the theatre fraternity and read to thousands of spectators.
Art For Wellness
The performing arts are known for creating an atmosphere that enhances wellness and grasping quality of children. The visuals tend to engage the imaginations of children and make them understand better. The right kind of cultural stories and influences also promote a feeling of security, responsibility and happiness quotient. This may prevent children from going astray, feel neglected or abused and from becoming violent as some studies claim, especially the under privileged children with low income families.
French Philosopher and Mathematician Blaise Pascal, has rightly said : “Imagination…creates beauty, justice and happiness which are everything in this world”
Across the world many institutions have resorted to involving children in music, mime, painting, ballet, dancing and plays to express themselves. The performing arts aid in driving away the inhibitions of young children. The children gain confidence by exploring the medium fearlessly.
Researchers from the School of Social Policy Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, over two years have found that low-income New York City residents with more access to cultural resources experienced better education, security and health outcomes. The study showed a 14% decrease in cases of child abuse and neglect, an 18% decrease in the serious crime rate and an 18% increase in the number of students scoring at the highest level on standardized math and English tests compared to low-income communities with fewer cultural resources.
Many Indian institutions have included theatre and performing arts as tools to engage kids and motivate participation especially for under privileged children. The Child’s Play India Organisation provides Music lessons and instruments for under privileged children in Goa.
Salam Bombay Foundation also works to promote this among the children in its educative programmes. With an aim to keep the children in school and lower drop-out rates, an experimental Play ‘Eka Dhotrachi Gosht’ – a production by theatre students from the Academy has held several successful shows across the country including performances at the National School of Drama, New Delhi.
Recently a group of students of Stanford University, Stanford Talisman, interacted and performed along with Salam Bombay Foundation’s Academy of Arts students thus giving the children an international exposure and a hope of dreaming big.
If theatre and performing arts could be utilized in keeping children aware and away from a life of crime, what else could be better than that? World today is in dire need of compassionate souls, less rage and more happiness and love…