Recently, Thespo conducted a four-week workshop for kids in the age group of nine to 16 years at Prithvi Theatre. This was the first time that Thespo — a theatre group dedicated to youth — held a workshop with kids below 15 years of age. The result of the intensive workshop is a new play, The Mighty Mirembayanna and the Prisoners of Peace.
Quasar Padamsee of Thespo says, “Thespo has always been about nurturing new talent. But this is the first time we have dipped below the 15-year-old mark. The process of introducing and sharing the magical world of live performance was a great opportunity. We were apprehensive at first, but the children turned out to be our real heroes.”
Abhishek Saha and five other Thespo members conducted the workshop. Saha says, “For me, this workshop is entirely about the children… their dreams, their fantasies. Playing out their strengths to bring up an issue that they feel for.” Akash Mohimen has written the script of the play and the story was developed each day at the workshop with inputs from the participants.
The play is set in 2122 in the land of Bragi, a world devastated by war and fights. The only thing keeping the Bragidians safe from the violence is the Mighty Mirembayanna tree in the garden of an old school. Mrs M’am, the strict head mistress, runs the school.
The students’ disciplined behaviour is what keeps the tree alive, though secretly they find ways to have fun and add some colour to their mundane routine. Things start going awry when the tree starts dying and the government adopts desperate measures to maintain peace in the country.
It is now up to the children of the school to save the Mighty Mirembayanna, maintain peace in Bragi and keep war at bay. How do they tackle the situation and do they find a way? Watch the play.