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Celebrating the spirit of childhood on an international platform

The annual Jashne Bachpan festival will have international performances for the first time this year. Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan will return to his alma mater (NSD) to encourage children’s theatre.

art and culture Updated: Nov 14, 2016 07:39 IST
Henna Rakheja
Jashne Bachpan

A scene from the non-verbal play July which will be staged at the festival this year.

It’s no longer child’s play, when it comes to art forms such as theatre. Within the premises of National School of Drama (NSD), the institute’s alumni, Irrfan Khan, will soon be seen encouraging young ones to take drama seriously.

As part of the 13th Jashne Bachpan - children’s theatre festival, the actor will be in the city to promote children’s theatre. On the fact that this annual festival has become international in its 13th edition, Khan says, “Globally, there is a huge focus on content for kids and encouragement of kids in the field of art. Theatre is a very enriching process and I am glad that NSD has taken the initiative to encourage and groom kids interested in theatre as well as create awareness about it overall.”

Actor Irrfan Khan, an alum of National School of Drama, will be in the Capital to promote children’s theatre. (Shivam Saxena/HT Photo)

If there’s a ceasefire among neighbours, children from different houses play together in a neighbourhood and act as a bridge for communication in a colony. “Children can also act as a bridge between parents and play the role of cultural ambassadors of a country,” says Waman Kendre, director, NSD.

Kendre adds, “This festival is not just for entertainment, but for those who are the future of our country. It is children who can help build a healthy society and therefore, we try to make them sensitised citizens by instilling good values in them, through theatre.”

A scene from the play Jungle Book, which will also be staged at the festival.

For the first time in this festival, there will be seven international performances from six foreign countries; in addition to the 20 productions from India. “Through this, we open a window to international theatre companies who are working for children. Our kids will get an exposure to them,” says Abdul Latif Khatana, chief, Theatre-in-Education, NSD.

Popular Indian narratives such as Kabuliwala (Rajasthan) and Jungle Book 2 (Mumbai) and unheard of international tales such as Garbage Monster (Turkey) will be showcased in Delhi, as part of the 12-day fest. “To encourage the children, NSD alumni Manoj Joshi and Mukesh Tiwari will be present on the opening day and Irrfan will join us for the closing ceremony,” says Khatana, adding, “There is certainly a buzz that’s created when popular actors come, but it’s also true that these actors get impressed when they see kids perform like professionals.”

Catch It Live

What: 13th Jashne Bachpan
Where:
National School of Drama, Bhagwan Das Road
When:
November 14 to 25
Timings:
3.30pm to 7pm
Ticket:
Rs 50 (adults), Rs 20 (children)
Nearest Metro Station:
Mandi House on Blue Line