The grand dame of Object Theatre will share with us her personal journey as a master practitioner of this magical art form. She will elucidate the history & the realities of Object Theatre; it’s emergence & deviations from Puppet Theatre; as well as its founding principles & techniques. The talk-cum-interactive session is ideal for all those interested in visual theatre, performing, visual performance media, those interested in contemporary culture, consumer culture, visual design & performance. In the end, she will also speak about ‘how to create a show!
Performers, directors, creators, actors, puppeteers, scenographers, educators, museum professionals, visual artists, arts-based practitioners, applied-theatre artists ... and all those directly or indirectly interested in visual theatre.
Register at [email protected] | LIMITED SEATS
Agnès Limbos was born in Huy, Belgium, in 1952, and spent part of her childhood in Africa. She studied Political Sciences and Philosophy, yet preferred the streets of the world to the University. Agnès trained at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris from 1977 to 1979 and in Mexico from 1980 to 1982, before founding the company Gare Centrale in Brussels in 1984. Through the company's performances and collaborations, Agnès Limbos is committed to make quality popular theatre, creating living, entertaining, touching and convivial plays in search of an ever-evolving visual and body language. Her shows have been presented in many theatre festivals in more than 25 countries. She works as a writer, actor, director and teacher. Agnes Limbos organizes master classes, object theater festivals, international laboratories and mentors young creators throughout their artistic process.
Object Theater is considered the youngest member of the Puppet Theatre family. It tries to reflect the spirit of our time and our world, proposing a ‘non-dramatic’ theatre with no characters and offering new tools and elements for performing arts. It has a short story – no more than 50 years – but it is always changing, by the hands of different artists who looks for contemporaneity, simplicity and proximity.
Adults : Ages 18+
Young and experienced artists (Puppeteers, directors, actors, storytellers, dancers, Theatre Makers, Educators, Visual Artists, Museum Professionals, Performers, Applied Theatre artists) Prior experience of Object Theatre not required.
Register at [email protected] | LIMITED SEATS
A simple REQUIREMENTS LIST for the workshop will be sent to participants prior to the workshop
Luiz André Cherubini & Sandra Vargas are Theatre directors, actors and puppeteers. They co-founded Grupo Sobrevento, an important Theatre company dedicated to Puppetry in 1986. With Bachelors Degrees in Theatre and Journalism, between them they have taught Puppetry at the University of Sao Paulo & coordinated different workshops in Brazilian and Chilean Universities and institutions. They have performed in over 200 cities of 20 countries and directed different Festivals, like the huge FITO – Object Theatre International Festival & SESI Bonecos do Mundo
Grupo Sobrevento, Brazil Grupo Sobrevento is a Brazilian theatre company founded in 1986, that investigates Object Theatre & Puppetry. Its theatre is the only venue especially dedicated to this language in the city of Sao Paulo. Sobrevento has directed many Object Theatre & Puppet theatre Festivals – sometimes small, sometimes huge – inviting many of the most important names of these Arts to different cities of Brazil. Sobrevento’s last shows explore different and surprising aspects of Objects as the starting point of a theatrical creation.
Object theatre is a contemporary form in theatre history. Children are familiar with object theatre by heart and their instincts. The importance of ‘Play’ in children’s development is clear to everyone. Children naturally learn and improve their different skills through their ‘play’. In fact, they practice ‘life’ and it’s concepts, possibilities and limits in
the pretend world of play and imagination. And it is worth mentioning that objects play a very important role in children’s plays. Children use objects to symbolize and to create an imaginative world which is more pleasant and understandable ~ the objects are their way of comprehending a complex world around them. Furthermore, children improve their creativity and imagery skills by symbolic plays.
In today’s contemporary world of consumption children are surrounded by technologies, but often gravitate towards simple and ordinary objects.
The decline of creative, symbolic play could have destructive effects on children’s development, the objective of this workshop is to help children experience symbolic playing through object theatre.
The facilitator will help children experience creativity and imagination by exploring ordinary objects and materials with new eyes. Children would be encouraged to observe and find the different possibilities and characteristics of everyday objects in a playful interactive atmosphere.
Register at [email protected] | LIMITED SEATS
PARTICIPANTS’ PROFILE: Children between 8 to 11 years
Olka Hedayat received her Masters Degree in Puppet Theatre from Tehran University’s (Department of Fine Arts)
She has been working as a director and a professional puppeteer in Iran for several years in different fields including theatre, television, and cinema. For several years, she has been teaching drama to children and adolescents in various art institutes and schools.
“War is about to begin, now is the time to become heroes. But the soldiers are plastic, the battlefield a table and home is just a distant image on a screen. Plastic Heroes is made entirely of “Ready Made” children's toys, mainly those of soldiers, weapons, and war, and incorporates use of ipads, iphones and video. All in a performance that is hilarious & ironic at the same time.
Ariel Doron is a puppeteer, director, and performer. In his work, he uses very little text and a lot of playfulness to deal with hard social and political subjects. Each project is created with the puppetry or performance discipline that best suits it, with the hope to always expand and question the media in which it is created in; and with a desire to inspire viewers to feel, think and react. His shows have won international prizes and are regularly invited to festivals and theatres all over the world. Ariel has collaborated with and taught in several institutions in Germany, Israel, Canada, UK and many more. Ariel also animates puppets for dozens of Television & Cinema productions including Sesame Street Israel, where he plays the beloved character “Elmo”. He graduated Cinema studies (B.A) in Tel Aviv University, studied puppetry classes in the School of Visual Theatre, Jerusalem, the Train Theatre Greenhouse Project, Puppetry School, Holon, and Tel Aviv, and participated in several masterclasses in the Institut International de la Marionette, Charleville-Mezieres.
As a true gemini, Rakhi Prasad's mathematical face is an Investment Manager at Alder Capital while her creative face is of a theatre artist. She started doing theatre during her Bachelors programme in Economics from Lady Sri Ram College, New Delhi. During her time in New York in 2001, Rakhi worked as a production assistant for a theatre company, Alter Ego. Her passion to spread the joy of reading amongst children, resulted in her running a children's bookstore, Treasure Books, and a children's story-telling festival, Kahani Karnival in Mumbai from 2009-2014. She became a part of Tram Theatre in 2013 and is the President of Tram Arts Trust. When she gets time from dealing with all the drama from her two teenage children, she has worked at Goldman Sachs, New York, Enam Securities and Matrix Partners in Mumbai. Her corporate career in finance over the last 20 years has given her a unique perspective in building best practices for Tram.
Our memory is made of windows, fragments of stories we have listened to, images we have seen, emotions we have felt, ever since we were little ones. Memories live in these windows; they open and close them. Memories in black and white, pleasant and unpleasant ones, that turn the past into present for a little while and that we can relive thanks to our imagination. Memories turn into questions – like the ones children ask grown-ups –, and they do so with a lightness and an innocence that seem to make the most difficult ones, the ones without an answer, almost weightless: «Will the past ever come back?» «Why does what is no more keep on living inside me, in my dreams and memories, and why does it feel so real?» This show in three acts creates a connection between different memories belonging to different people that go in the same direction until they gather in the same place. Frames is a show made of very few words, with a special focus on the movements, the feelings, and the expression of the two actresses telling this story. The set design is simple and essential, and thanks to the presence of signs and drawings, it is constantly evolving, following the thread of the story.
Founded in 1976, La Baracca has been working in the field of theatre for young audiences for the past 44 years, producing and programming shows for families and schools. In addition to the activities of the Teatro Testoni Ragazzi in Bologna, the company manages a small theatre hall in Medicina (district of Bologna), Medicinateatro. The company produces shows exclusively for children and young people: from very small children attending crèches to teenagers attending secondary school. Over the years, the company has developed a poetic style that seeks amazement in the young audiences, focusing on simplicity and essentiality, as well as on the constant interaction with the audience. Far from entertainment, it is a kind of theatre that supports the idea of competent and sensitive children, who can fully enjoy a high-quality artistic experience at any age. Since 2005 La Baracca has been project leader in many European project focused on performing arts for early years, founding also the “Small size Network“.
Sananda Mukhopadhyaya is a theatre maker and arts based educator. Her education has been in Anthropology, Arts Pedagogy and Museums. She is a creative entrepreneur and runs two enterprises; Extensions - a collaborative platform that seeks opportunities to create innovative art based engagements. And Sphere Arts Education; Sphere works with schools and learning institutions to provide curriculum design intervention and teacher training solutions using the arts. With Tram Arts Trust, Sananda has been long associated in the capacity of a pedagogue, director and fellow admired of all things objects!
BOXES is a performance made of a variable number of interactive installations. A visual theater work made up of boxes containing micro- performances and interactive games, which can be enjoyed by one spectator at a time. The public is invited to experience a unique, personal, and dedicated experience, observing inside the boxes through small cracks and openings; they plunge into an intimate and protected space that contains micro- worlds created by sounds, mechanisms, kaleidoscopes, shadows, stereoscopies and optical effects. Unique and very different universes, united by the fact that they are all contained inside boxes, BOXES is inspired by Lambe- Lambe theater and from research on pre- cinema techniques. The first 3 boxes have already been created, they are called THE DRAWER, KALEIDOSCOPE and BEEHIVE.
UnterWasser Company has been founded in 2014 by Valeria Bianchi, Aurora Buzzetti and Giulia De Canio. The company places itself at the border between Visual theatre and Contemporary Art, exploring how the two overlap and create an original, poetic language as an investigative instrument into the human mind and its many facets. The focus is on the artistic object, the handcraft, the image, the sculpture, the moving matter. The performance is a “Mobile Installation” to be enjoyed in the evolving of the scenes (frames), in the fluidity of their flowing, in the sequence of not-hidden transformations of the matter, in changing of perspectives and points of view, that bring on the scene the principle of editing as used in cinema. The company studies the extraordinary possibilities offered by Visual Theatre of opening doors on the scene, gashes that bring the public in poetic, dreamlike and fantastic worlds, empty canvas on which the eye of each spectator can project meanings and evoke memories, emotions, images.
Dhwani Vij is a theatre Director/Performer/Educator, based in Delhi. She is one of the founding members of a Delhi based drama group, Third Space Collective. Her practice is rooted in creating performances that question the world they inhabit. Her work in schools involves tools of drama to teach skills of mindfulness, empathy and emotional well being to young learners.
This Object Theatre play explores and questions the trope of "The Big Bad Wolf". Set against the backdrop of the woods we encounter two storytellers--The Wolf and The Hunter. The Wolf's voice gives us an insight into the impact myths and stories have on animals. Through the myths and symbols of fairy tales, we delve into the nature of humans and animals. Are they similar or different? And how does fear shape the way we perceive the wolf?
Sannidhi Surop is a Bangalore based theatre artist who is passionate about all things therapeutic, cathartic and expressive. Her enthusiasm for bringing the joy of theatre to young people led her to become a drama facilitator for children and young adults. Her experience in Playback Theatre helps her bring elements of empathy, deep listening and creative storytelling to any work she does.
Sharvari Sastry is a Mumbai-based academic. She recently completed her PhD from the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and Theater and Performance Studies at University of Chicago. Her dissertation, Performances of Posterity: Theatre, Archives and Cultural Regulation in Modern India examines processes of cultural preservation, reform and appropriation in the context of tamasha and lavani in Maharashtra. She is currently a visitng faculty at the Drama School Mumbai, and a Research Associate affiliated with University of Edinburgh. She has previously served as the Executive Editor of PT Notes, the monthly newsletter of Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai (2011-12), as the Program Coordinator of the India Theatre Forum (2009-2014) and an Administrator at Theatre Professionals Pvt. Ltd (2009-2011).
A non-traditional solo documentary object theatre performance for 8 spectators around a table. Stories and situations from the family life of a Palestinian man born and raised in a refugee camp in Jordan, performed and directed by himself according to his personal history. Husam Abed was born and raised in Baqa’a Palestinian Refugee Camp, the biggest Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. Audience sit around the table, he tells the stories of his family's diaspora in a charming and evocative way in the context of the political events in region. With soulful music and the power of the objects you get very close to something that seems very distant. All this is accompanied by video projections objects, photos, maps, videos and especially raw "recycled" materials - tin cans, wire, paper, wood, rice grains - and a good storytelling. Abed speaks loudly, whispers, hits the table with his fist, sings and dances. We hear stories about a life and experiences far away from our reality. At the table, art connects with life and creation mixed with realism. Abed uses the stories of his own personal and daily life to create an atmosphere that fills all our senses.
Dafa Puppet Theatre, a multi-awarded theatre company based in the city of Prague in Czechia, co-founded and co-run by Husam Abed, a theatre director, puppeteer and musician & Reka Deak, a puppeteer and stage designer, since 2015. Dafa is an Arabic word that means warmth. Dafa is in the warmth of an invitation extended to every child, youth and adult to imagine, dream, act, and give the best of their potential towards the betterment of their communities. Dafa sees theatre as a public practice, inviting members of the community, after giving them the techniques and tools to express and address issues and concerns that face their community. Theatre then becomes not about entertainment only, but a way of self-expression and the glue that binds the community together. Dafa creates theatre performances with the community, support the establishment of theatre groups of children, youth and adults. Dafa supports the professional development of artists and amateur puppeteers. Dafa provides skills and specialized programs for educators and social workers. Dafa also collaborates with artists and professionals from multidisciplinary fields to explore new possibilities and methods in the art and craft of object/puppet theatre. Dafa creates puppet performances for children and adults, takes part at international festivals designs specialized workshops, provides training, consultancy services, organizes art residencies, festivals, assists the educational sector and produces publications around puppetry in Arab world and Europe.
Sameera Iyengar is a creative producer and theatre person. She has been working in the field of theatre/performing arts for over 20 years. Her particular passion lies in mobilising the performing arts as anchors for public discourse, towards the proliferation of critical thinking, ideas and understanding. Sameera’s work in theatre began as a researcher/writer for Seagull Theatre Quarterly, followed by a decade as Director Projects at Prithvi Theatre. In 2012, she co-founded Junoon to share the richness of the arts with people across India; the organisation ran for 8 years. Her work so far has included creating, curating and running festivals, arts addas, school programmes, carnivals, workshops for children and theatre exhibitions. Sameera has also co-founded the India Theatre Forum and SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre), towards strengthening the theatre ecosystem in India. She is a co-editor of the book, Our Stage: The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today. Her tryst with theatre began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she majored in Mathematics and minored in Theatre. She went on to get her PhD on theatre from the University of Chicago. While theatre is her obsession, she also loves sports and reading, and would be up for a good game of football or a swim at any time.
The production immerses the audience into the world of things and words from “The Snow Queen”, the world of enchanting sounds, objects and puppets. In this story, Gerda is completely alone. The audience sees her just on her own. Like a mirror, she reflects other characters, and follows these reflections. Gerda is still young in her memory. She doesn’t notice the passage of time, and keeps looking for Kai. “Gerda’s Room” is about searching and fearing. It’s about eternity that is always ready to meet us. We put this eternity into a word, and breathe it out on a frozen window so we can finally see something dear to us which we have long lost. Like our body, a room we inhabit reflects everything we have experienced. We all know the fairy tale about Gerda’s journey. But did Gerda really go out to look for Kai? People, roads, strange places... What if she embarked on that journey without actually leaving her room? Gerda’s story is in brackets, turned into a metaphor. It’s a visual and conceptual transformer. The production is a memory play reconstructing the past. And it’s open to interpretation.
Osobnyak Theatre is a professional theatre with a small, intimate space and philosophical productions. It was founded in 1989 as an “actors’ theatre with guest directors”. The directors of Osobnyak Theatre are scrupulous researchers of human personality. They are interested in life and the nurturing of the spirit. Just like the process of self-exploration, their reflection on these topics is often painful, but, eventually, positive for both authors and audience members. The theatre presents productions based on works which haven’t been staged before due to their complexity. Osobnyak is a home for directors who express their views freely, without sticking to the established ideas and limits, or the canons of theatre. Each production is the result of a spiritual quest. It’s a conclusion, and yet another question of a director and actors. This quest is endless, but with each production, the audience get one step closer to finding answers to their questions.
Choiti Ghosh is an Object Theatre artist & artistic director of Mumbai-Delhi based object theatre company ~ Tram Arts Trust. She began her professional career in theatre in 1998.
In 2010, following a brief professional workshop in Object Theatre under the Belgian Object Theatre artiste Agnés Limbos at the Institut International de la Marionnette (IIM), in Charleville Mezieres, France, Choiti has since dedicated her entire time to the practice & dissemination of Object Theatre in India. Her artistic practice includes workshops with children & young people; workshops with teachers, & adults who work with children; training programmes for theatre artists & other arts based professionals; marginalised youth. Her plays have travelled all over India as well as to festivals in Germany, United States, Sri Lanka, Japan. As a director she has been invited to France (Theatre Gerard Phillippe, Paris) Germany (ASSITEJ Germany Directors Gathering, Berlin) & the UK (British Council India Showcase delegate) to share artistic practices. Choiti has been a researcher-in-residence at the Deutsches Forum fur Figurentheatre und Puppenspeilkunst, Bochum, Germany & at the IIM, Charleville Mezieres. She was a recipient of the Sahitya Rangabhoomi Vinod Doshi Fellowship in 2011 and the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar by Sangeet Nataka Akademi, for puppetry in 2015.
Ordinary objects are intrinsic parts of our lives, realities and memories. They are representative of our very human conditions. And often poetry hides inside them. An Object theatre performance can unleash this poetry and reveal to the viewer the magic lying within the ordinary! The magic of seeing yourself reflected in a little ordinary object that usually lies forgotten in a corner of your house. And because objects belong to everyone, the stories they tell are everyone’s too. To be met by each viewer with their own power of associations. So, are the ordinary really so ordinary? That is the fundamental question !
Thing-a-magic will bring to Indian audiences handpicked and loved object theatre performances from around the world, in 3 formats:
- Recordings of performances that were performed to a live audience.
- Performances created for digital viewing, performed LIVE on an online platform.
- Performances created or adapted for digital viewing, Recorded.
Each performance will create a space for an interaction between the artists & the audience. In the digital world, this is the way we bring audiences & performers closer to re-live the theatre experience.
There will also be workshops for the young & adult audiences.
A guided talk on the-making-of a performance. For young object theatre artists, for those making a start in the art form, for those in applied arts fields, and for all those interested to know how an object theatre performance evolves from concept to stage, this will be an artist’s experience.
A conversation with objects and words on the history, practice, techniques & philosophies of Object Theatre.
Thing-a-magic, the International Object Theatre Festival of India will be organized by CSMVS Children’s Museum and the Tram Arts Trust. The CSMVS Children's Museum is supported by Bank of America.
Thing-a-magic is the successor of the national object theatre festival ‘Fairytales Retold’ mentored, curated and virtually presented by Tram Arts Trust in Dec 2020, and re-hosted by CSMVS in Jan 2021.
Images from the national festival can be seen on Tram’s Instagram & Facebook pages.
Supported by Bank of America
CSMVS is a premier art and history museum in the country, with around 70,000 art objects in various mediums, housed inside a UNESCO World Heritage site. The building's architecture is the unique Indo-Saracenic style, also integrating a
charbagh-style garden and recently, a Children's Museum built as organic architecture near a 95-year old baobab tree. The Museum is a Grade I heritage building and a (IGBC) platinum certified Green Building. Dedicated to education and
outreach, CSMVS completes its first centenary as a public museum in 2022. The Objective of the Children’s Museum is to offer unique and creative cultural experiences for children, young adults and the child in everyone and help them
develop a critical perspective towards life and co-existance with nature and people.
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Formed in 2011, Tram Arts Trust is an Object Theatre Company based out of Mumbai & New Delhi; dedicated towards experimenting, playing, disseminating & popularizing Object Theatre in India.
We build our artistic work in order to explore the world through the ‘theatre of objects’; To explore its vocabulary of telling stories with the most ordinary things; to create new, fun, out-of-the-box, experimental, reflective and
evocative theatre with ‘things’ generally considered quite unremarkable... And to spread the magic of this quirky, deeply profound art form, in India!
Besides creating plays, Tram conducts workshops & training programmes for theatre professionals, for children & arts based practitioners; Objects in Pedagogy workshops for educators; and especially designed object theatre engagements for
NGOs and organisations within social development sectors.
Tram Arts Trust is possibly India’s first Object theatre company.