Applied Theatre is a creative process which can be used in diverse sectors with different kinds of stakeholders such as schools, Government & Non-Government Organizations, Businesses, Social and Community Development etc. To explore the practices and potentials in India Applied Theatre India Foundation organized India’s first ever virtual conference on ‘Role of Applied Theatre in Indian Society’ which took place on 12th and 13th December 2020. The conference was supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi.
The conference was inaugurated by the hands of Shri Dinesh Patnaik, Director General, ICCR and in the presence of Dr. Swaroop Sampat – Rawal and Shri Kaustubh Bankapure, Director, Applied Theatre India Foundation. Shri Kaustubh said, ‘The purpose of Applied Theatre is to make people aware about their real issues and help them explore the best possible way to deal with it. Applied Theatre is gaining importance worldwide because it deals with a tremendous amount of hope and possibility of exploration to deal with issues in a very positive way. It’s a high time now that Applied Theatre should be introduced as a mainstream area of study supported by solid research by the practitioners and the virtual conference is the first step towards formalizing the Applied Theatre study in India.’
Shri Patnaik said, ‘This is a new concept and this needs more elaboration. I am happy to see that we are getting together through this conference to see how Applied Theatre touches all of us in our everyday life. We will continue to do this kind of conferences in future also.’ Dr. Swaroop Sampat – Rawal from Mumbai delivered a key note speech on ‘The Magic of Drama in Education’ and Dr. Sanjoy Ganguly from Janasanskriti, Kolkata delivered a valedictory speech on ‘Theatre, an Art of Creating Connection’.
Ravi Ramswamy, Radhika Jain, Srividya Srinivas (Bangalore), Manasee Mahajan, Mahrukh Bharucha, Vaibhav Lokur (Pune), Dr. Nilesh Parekh and Ms. Priyal Shah, Dakxin Bajarange (Ahmedabad), Saket Raje (Mumbai), Dr. Selina Busby (London), Abhishek Goswami (Jaipur) and Dr. Sarah Saddler (USA) participated virtually and presented their research papers in this conference. These papers discussed various Applied Theatre subjects such as theatre in education, theatre of the oppressed, playback theatre, special education need, National Education Policy, Theatre in Corporate and storytelling. The conference were attended by more than 15,000 viewers from India, UK, USA, Brazil, Germany and Australia.
Kaustubh Bankapure added further, ‘The conference presentations are available on Applied Theatre India Foundation’s YouTube channel and all the research papers will be available in the form of an E-book which will be available for free.’