NataKalpane (Theatre + Imagination) is the seed of an idea. It will take on two forms, each serving a specific, distinct need.
It will be the name of Karnataka's first touring repertory for children's work.
It will also be the name of the online network of students, parents, teachers and local theatre makers form the various cities that the repertory travels to
NataKalpane, as a whole, will work to understand and address the integration of the arts in mainstream, primary education in non-English, non-urban spaces in Karnataka.
And it begins, as it should, with a play.
We settled on an adaptation of The Little Prince because the story is timeless in its exploration of imagination, of empathy and of the growing distance between those who think and those who do.
Our Kannada adaptation of The Little Prince explores a queering of the French classic. The book's timeless themes of friendship, love, loss, and growing older sits alongside the playwright's curiosities on gender, authority, and the decolonised lens. This version is highly interactive, and uses word play and character refreshes from the local milieu to create a dramatic experience that will be accessible to young audiences from various social locations, urban or otherwise.
Bhasha Centre's production of The Little Prince will begin rehearsing in June 2022 and will announce the birth of NataKalpane as a repertory and network.
Rashmi Ravikumar - Playwright
Rashmi Ravikumar is a theatre maker and facilitator. The intersection of Kannada and English theatre as well as that of playback and proscenium theatre is an area that she loves working with. She also has a background in psychology, which she often uses as a tool in playmaking. She is artistic director of jijji productions and one of the co-founders of citylamps playback theatre. She is drawn to Gender, Mental health and Absurdism in performance.
Nisha Abdullla - Dramaturg
Nisha Abdulla is a Bangalore based artist working in the intersections of theatre, community, and education. She practices as writer, director, dramaturg, and pedagogue. Nisha is the Artistic Director of Qabila, a collective founded in 2018 that creates work with an anti-oppression lens, centering new writing and lived experience. And member of OffStream, a collective founded in 2020 that works on anti-caste art, history, and dissenting imaginations. Her current projects include an auto-ethnographic work that explores trauma in marginalized bodies and communities, and a Theatre for Young Audience digital piece that uses shadow puppetry and moving images to tell a story about pandemic related loss and healing.
Images from a reading of the first draft. The Jamun, October 2021