This grant supports actor and director Jaimini Pathak, who leads the Mumbai-based theatre group, Working Title, to develop and stage the late Singaporean playwright Kuo Pao Kun’s Day I Met the Prince, in an adaptation written by actor and writer Nayantara Roy. The original play, intended for children, is based on Antoine Saint Exupery’s masterpiece Le Petit Prince. This production proposes to break away from current children’s theatre practice in India, which is mostly preachy or escapist.
The story of the play is simple for a child to grasp. At the same time, unlike conventional plays for children, it addresses complex issues of materialism and consumerism. Jaimini wants to explore various facets of the story in a manner that is thought-provoking for young audiences, leading them into self-exploration and to reflect on life’s deeper meaning.
Working Title’s version of Day I Met the Prince will combine magic, music, songs and dance to provide young audiences with a performance that is full of fun and laughter, but also make them more keenly aware of the world around them. The actors are being trained by two professional magicians in the use of illusions, which will be woven seamlessly into the structure and plot of the play. The production will offer a fantasy-filled, outrageously funny wink at the intense hurry that life seems to be in, while gently creating an interactive space in which children can discover their own concerns.
The play will be premiered at Prithvi Theatre’s Summertime Children’s theatre festival in Mumbai in May 2009.