Deccan Chronicle

Sputnik Moments with Yours truly theater

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“All the world’s a stage,” once remarked William Shakespeare quite famously. And one person who will agree with that is Nandini Rao, Co-founder, Yours truly. A theatre veteran with over 18 years of overall theatre experience, she is one of the few leading women theatre directors in India. “From the time I knew I had the creative bug in me and this bug led me to take a bold decision of pursing degree in fine. Though I enjoyed visual arts, it was only when I had the first taste of theatre, I realized I belonged here. It was matter of working with multiple directors, getting training with best of theatre teachers and many theatre productions which added to my initial years of theatre experience. I had started script more contemporary play, directing couple of them, acting in many I had realized I had found my calling.”

Having worked with many groups and directors, there was a search of theatre language which was more relevant to today’s audience. The idea of Yours truly theatre was born with this single thought of experimenting with different formats of interactive and intimate theatre performance which will connect to today’s audience, which will language our audience understands, theatre which will serve a bigger purpose beyond only entertainment. And having completed 15 years in December 2018 Rao admits it has been a fulfilling journey. “Theatre fundamentally deals with human behaviour, human interactions and the world around us. Here is a strong connect between theatre arts and psychology. Theatre in therapy is an established methodology used by many with internationals associations. Many techniques of theatre have been developed over the years to address mental health conditions such as depression, relationship issues, loneliness and stress. Theatre gives us a catharsis to our emotions, both, when we see it and when we do theatre. Theatre bases its fundamental values on being human and a personal touch which mostly lacks in today’s lifestyles putting many at stake,” says Rao.

‘Sputnik moments’ is the company’s big production for the year. It is a play that consists of eight different short stories that explores various aspects of people and society. “It explores and presents to the audience themes such as human relationships today, impact of social media on our life’s and our relationships, loneliness, environmental issues and the never-ending contradictions between our words and actions. It is a piece that has been refined and developed over time consisting of personal stories as well as insights from the team. We have performed Sputnik in many variations and many platforms, this time we tweaked it to added more flavour to it and bring it out as ‘Sputnik Moments’.” The play is presented with a blend of sarcasm and comedy taking the audience into a smooth journey from one story to another. “Among all art forms, theatre is the most effective in addressing social and developmental issues. It creates a space and distance, which helps people to become more aware and sensitizes them. As a dramatic mix of fictional and reality, theatre offers a unique opportunity for people to express and challenge ideas and issues using a fictional voice and symbolic situations,” avers Rao. Bangalore especially is known for more young theatre practitioners and a culture which allows explorations and experimenting mirroring the Bangalore Entrepreneur culture. Looking ahead she is focusing on Theatre and Theatre applied, making theatre sustainable by using it as a tool in social sector, Education, Therapy, Personal development driving towards empowerment of individuals. “We offer basic theatre workshops as well as advanced training and look to taking the art of theatre to as many as possible in the form of certificate courses that have been synthesized from our experience over the years. We also have an active sector of Yours Truly called Life Unscripted which deals with how Theatre can be used in the corporate and we have successfully collaborated with many corporate houses. We are currently working on taking our work internationally and reaching out to a more diverse set of audience beyond boundaries,” she concludes.

This story first appeared in Deccan Chronicle Bengaluru dated 20th Sep 2019 here:

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