Thespo is a platform for anyone under the age of 25 interested in any & every aspect of theatre. This year, we are going a step further by collaborating with 4 theatre practitioners from Canada, Italy, UK and Australia!
What is Thespo?
Thespo was started in 1999 by a group of 5 fresh college graduates who found that traditional theatre institutions & organisations were not willing to give the youth an opportunity to explore & exhibit their talent. Today, after 17 long years of baby steps & continuous growth, we have cultivated a National Youth Theatre Movement. Over the last 17 years, we have grown from a one-evening event with 4 one-act plays to a year-round movement comprising of an annual festival in December, monthly shows at Prithvi Theatre, theatre training programmes & workshops, site-specific performances & much more for young theatre enthusiasts.
What's happening at the Festival this year?
The Festival will take place from 7 to 13 December 2015 at Prithvi Theatre and on 12 & 13 December, 2015 at Godrej Theatre, NCPA in Bombay.
The 17th edition of our Festival (Thespo 17, as we call it) aims to ‘Spark the Drama’ among the youth. This year, we have received 159 registrations for full-length plays across 23 cities in India, in 12 languages, including 3 registrations from Pakistan. Thespo 17 will have 4 projects involving international collaborations, that are in progress, and shall be a part of the festival in December this year. These projects aim to provide exposure to young theatre enthusiasts from India to new techniques practised by international theatre professionals. The collaborations lined up are:
1) Stimulated Voices by Glenn Hayden (Australia):
Stimulated Voices will a celebratory theatre performance inspired by the poetry and writing of young people across India.
2) The Stranger by Daniel Bartolini (Italy):
'The Stranger' is an urban-immersive-interactive experience designed for one spectator at a time and the piece proposes to transform a lone audience member into a performer.
3) Brotherhood, the Hip Hopera by Sebastian Heins and b CURRENT (Canada):
Brotherhood, the Hip Hopera is a high energy, one-man show telling the parodied story of two brothers "living it up" in the Hip Hop life.
4) Livery of Freedom by Tim Smith (England):
'Livery of Freedom' is a research and development project, that offers the opportunity to connect directly with storytellers in India through cultural exchange. This will be achieved through a workshop on 'multi-media storytelling' which will be held during the festival.
So, how exactly does Thespo help the youth theatre scenario in India?
Over the last 17 years, we have helped provide an experience of professional theatre to young theatre enthusiasts, allowing them to explore, express & create art without any limits or restrictions on their creativity. Thespo also aims to build a community of young theatre enthusiasts with new talent being tapped annually at the festival and creating a new theatre going audience. Thespo has given flight to the journeys of contemporary artists like Huma Qureshi, Nimrat Kaur, Richa Chadha, Kunal Roy Kapur, Karan Makhija, Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathi, Anand Tiwari, Namit Das, Amey Wagh, Kshitee Jog, Neil Bhoopalam, Amrita Puri, Chandan Roy Sanyal and many more.
Why do we need collaborative projects with international talent at Thespo?
Collaborative work will not only provide young people with exposure to new theatre forms but also make them aware of work happening worldwide. This will only help Indian theatre raise the bar higher.
What is Thespo currently working on?
Thespo is now in the last leg of the screening process through which the best of youth theatre talent from across the country will be picked to be showcased at the Festival. We are also curating the workshops, fringe performances and the platform performances sections at the festival, putting together content for the festival magazine and lots more!
Over the years, the movement has strived to provide an environment; conducive for young people to create work in, learn and exchange ideas. By designing training programs, helping talented individuals to realise their potential, we believe that theatre can indeed change lives. The youth is the future of theatre in India and by backing Thespo & its initiatives, you will help provide an impetus to all young theatre enthusiasts out there with the passion & enthusiasm to revolutionise theatre in our country for decades to come!
Rs. 200000 in Travel & Accommodation
Rs. 35000 in Publicity Expenditure
The primary concern is to cover the basic costs involved in building & executing these collaborations. Being a theatre festival, we do not garner enough eyeballs or footfalls to attract a corporate sponsorship. Thespo has always stood for quality theatre. By falling short of funds we might be placing that ideal at risk.
If we are unable to raise enough funds, we cut down on costs and compromise on the overall experience for the participants and audiences alike. This will be extremely disappointing and what could be an unforgettable experience will instead remain a minimalistic show. We will fail in our mission to give a boost to the youth theatre scene in India.
We are certainly not in the theatre to make money! To keep a tab on what's brewing in the Thespo office follow us on Facebook for regular updates and read our online monthly magazine Thespo Ink. Apart from that, do come to the festival and be witness to the fruits of your contribution!