Street Theatre Social & Political Consciousness

Street theatre is a form of theatrical presentation of any social issue in public spaces. It could be done anywhere, including shopping centers, car parks, recreational reserves, college or university campuses, and street corners. They are especially performed in front of a large audience. It was a source of providing information to people when there were no devices like television, radio, etc. Nowadays, a street play performed on streets to create social awareness about many burning topics like family planning, girls’ education, and child labor. Street play is considered to be the rawest form of acting because one does not have a microphone or loudspeakers

Theatre and India share a long relationship since 5000 years. The earliest form of theatre was Sanskrit theatre. Indian theatre was largely influenced by the people who ruled over the country. The root of street theatre in India was strongly connected with the anti-fascist political ideology of the leftists and the progressive political theatre in the ’40s in Kolkata. It evolved as a tool to emancipate the working class and reinforce revolution against the established power. Even after Independence, Indian Street theatre evolved as a voice the concerns of the common man.

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Students of JIMS Rohini Sec-5 performing Natak on Domestic Violence

Purpose of Street Theatre

Today, the street theatre became a medium of communicating the message to the people illustrating the realities of daily life. Breaking all the margins of orchestra, galleries, audience, music, songs, and stage to reach to the common people, street theatre is just not a form of entertainment but has evolved as a meaningful art form for creating social awareness. Street theatre is a situation where the audience has not come prepared to watch a play, and people may not have much time and there are limitations to determine the parameters of the plays. They are many direct, brief, and concise theatrical expressions. To be more effective they are usually loud and entertaining. The objective is to convey a particular idea or to portray a significant meaning — a direct, intimate, and effective means of dramaturgy.

Who participates in it

The magical thing about street theatre is that people of every age group can participate in it.

Primary students (6–7 years old ) to people from different Non-profit organizations participate in it. You don’t need to master your acting skills for it, anyone with sound knowledge can participate in it.

In this era of Netflix and amazon prime where people prefer Sci-fi movies than with social issues and solutions, schools and colleges are performing a big role in encouraging Nukkad-Natak and spreading awareness by using traditional methods.

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Street play is gradually but firmly establishing itself as the pivot of change going on in society. The voice of a street play artist is the voice of the people and their rebellion. It is the voice that says that we have had enough, borne much, and now, we won’t stay silent! We will join our hands, raise our voice, change others, change ourselves, and liberate everyone and everyone’s thoughts from the fetters of repression. Street play is the spark that ignites numerous fires in the hearts, minds, and souls of us Indians, the fire of voice, fire of initiation, and the fire of change.

Contributed By- Abhishek Kumar, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang

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