THEATRE THERAPY : UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO A BETTER LIFE
Kolahol Theatre Workshop is an initiative to spread awareness through theatre and performing arts. This is the brain child of our Founder Director Nigel Akkara . We strive to provide a creative platform to people of the society which are less experimented and stigmatized. We bring these people together under one roof . With the aid of theatre therapy, we train them, so as to bring out their hidden creative talents. Theatre Therapy is defined as the use of theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote mental health. In addition Theatre therapy works to shed light on feelings and behaviors of a person . In addition it helps to teach them ways to manage and overcome obstacles they struggle with.
APPLICATION OF THEATRE THERAPY IN THE VENTURES OF KOLAHOL
We, in Kolahol strongly believe that every individual, notwithstanding his/her stigma deserves a fair chance to prove himself/herself. That one chance might prove to be a turning point in that person’s life. And with this view, we have staged three productions till now . Participants were the stigmatised of our society. However Our first venture was with the transgender . This production was ” Bishakto Panchali “. The next project was with the sex workers of the various red light areas of Kolkata . This project was ” Jhorafuler Rupkatha “.
The third and current production of Kolahol is with the recovering Drug addicts . This project is ” Bewarish “
In each case, we brought the participants together and started training them. After few basic trainings we started to apply theatre therapy . We realised by taking on a specific role, a person would gain insight and break free from barriers. At the core of Drama therapy are the elements of role and story. Participants in drama therapy follow roles to tell a story or perform a part . Thereby embracing a new perspective of the character and themselves. And we must say, in all the three cases our experiment turned out to be extremely rewarding.Above all The participants completely overcame their inhibitions and inner obstacles and performed brilliantly!
THEATRE THERAPY : SOME MORE INFORMATION
Theatre Therapy or Drama Therapy emerged as a creative arts therapy in 1970s. Practiced around the world . Used in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, mental health centers, prisons and even businesses. Drama therapy is used to help people solve problems , achieve catharsis, delve into truths about one’s own-self and transcend unhealthy personal patterns of behavior and interpersonal interaction. In Kolahol, while working with the various stigmatized groups, we apply theatre therapy to achieve these targets. Though this process is very beneficial and rewarding at the end . However it is quite a difficult one and the progressions and developments can be slow going. For instance , in our all three productions, we have successfully implemented theatre therapy. However This journey would continue in all our future endeavors .