Today, as we stepped on stage at Jayshree Periwal High School, it was amazing to see this group of 54 young adults from diverse areas like Kumbalgarh, Mount Abu, Bikaner, Janwaar and Jaipur come together as one unit, united by dreams and aspirations.
This year, the JLF Outreach Program has been centred around 70 years of India’s Independence with its theme, ‘Freedom to Dream’. It all started on January 10, when these young students from various socio-economic backgrounds came together, not knowing what to expect from this process. What began was a full scale roller coaster ride with physical and emotional ups and downs, demonstrating the true strength of expressive arts as a medium of empowerment.
Each and every performer today spoke their heart out, making this performance ever more interactive. The scenes depicted were culled from real life stories of our participants, reflecting those of our audiences as well. The connect was instant, breaking barriers and inhibitions as they stepped on a stage for the first time ever. This was the result of 7 days of intensive workshopping and encouragement for many to come out of their shells and take centre stage.
Our workshops started with basic theatre warm up exercises that helped everyone break the initial tension. We shared our intent and each day was a step forward. Through activities like the mirror exercise, group triangles and guided meditation, we managed to seep into deeper layers that were necessary for the full exploration of this theme. Each day ended with different groups performing on key issues discussed during the day. None of the groups formed were ever the same, allowing participants to mingle with each other, understand and acknowledge individual differences.
Through the last 8 days we have opened avenues, expanding the canvas of one’s dreams. While some presented scenarios where subject and career options defined one’s aspirations, we also had those who want to break caste and gender based barriers that prohibit one’s mobility. Each of these components equally represent a nation that has a long way forward on the route to inclusive development. What we have also discovered in these last 8 days, is the journey our nation has taken so far. No matter where we come from, we have unraveled innumerable possibilities to influence change collectively. That’s the strength that the Indian diversity inhabits.
All these threads come together in our play titled ‘Freedom to Dream’. Our performances have started today, January 18, 2017 in Jayshree Periwal High School and Jayshree Periwal International School. Over the next 5 days we will be reaching to 8 more schools and a community in Jaipur. We are also very excited to perform on the Festival Grounds on Sunday, January 22, 2017.
We aim to continue in this direction, and in the process look forward to facilitating many such interactions where young, vibrant minds get a chance to speak out their minds and express themselves.