Reflections by Smrithi Nair

A snapshot of Drama Jam #33 where we froze as book-covers in a virtual human library!

As part of the Dramatics Society in Lady Shri Ram College, theatre has made up a huge chunk of my life for the past three years. Last year, like everything else in the world, my life too came to a standstill. While trying to adjust to the world shifting online, the lack of human connection and a safe space, I felt lost and alone. Ironically, I was not alone in this feeling.

One of the very first things I learnt at Aagaaz was that everyone has multiple stories and reducing people to fit into your imagination…


Hello! आज मैं आप सबको कुछ बताना चाहती हूं जो मैंने एक्सपीरियंस किया है। एक ऐसी जगह जहाँ पर हम रोज़ कुछ न कुछ सीख रहे हैं, अपने एक्सपीरियंस से, अपने काम से । मैं निज़ामुद्दीन में बच्चों के साथ काम करती हूँ। शुरू शुरू में मुझे कई चीज़ें समझ नही आती थीं। “क्या करूँ”, “कैसे करूँ”, और सबसे ज़रूरी सवाल — “क्या मैं बच्चों के साथ काम कर सकती हूँ?” या “क्या मैं बच्चों के साथ काम करना भी चाहती हूँ?” बस यही सवाल मेरे मन में रहते थे।

मैंने बच्चों के साथ पहले भी काम किया है। मैं…


What started a casual conversation, years ago, has become a very integral part of family now. Let me rewind a few years back-

Location: Dehradun. Event: Workshop for Senior Doctors on Leadership and Teamwork.

As an HR Coordinator, I got an opportunity to work with Sanyukta, who was spearheading this workshop and I got to know about Aagaaz. It stayed with me even after I left the Indian Sub-Continent. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I kept on thinking if I could have joined this exciting adventure in some role or the other-Gurgaon to Nizamuddin was doable for me…


Reflections on the Aagaaz Drama Jams by Amaira Srivastava

Yes, I am turning 10 in 6 days and yes, I am a part of extraordinary online jam sessions on Saturday nights America time for me and Sunday mornings India time- with participants from all walks of life! So this is how it started…and is still going on!

Week One: My mom asked me to join an online ‘jam session’ just when I was about to go to bed. Strange! Normally she forces me to sleep early but that day she was extra nice and extra polite and asked me to…


“Co-creation” That is the new word which I find myself intrigued by. It tempts me to unravel its layers. The word has a feel of togetherness and of coming together. It speaks to me about love, acceptance, shared pride in a task completed. And it alludes to the personal kept aside for the collective- personal egos/targets/credit.

What better example of a space of co-creation than ‘Theatre’!

For, even a theatrical piece that may be a monologue is put together by a team comprising several individuals. It is an exhibition of the expertise, skills, ideas and thoughts of each member of…


The thing that stayed with me most in the first few weeks of working with the core team of Aagaaz in the park was that no one knew the names of things but everyone knew how to make them up. We were introduced to games that seemed to have bizarre names: something about a chicken, something about spotting, something about laddus. These games themselves were familiar that I had perhaps played as a kid or in some theatre workshop, but the names had betrayed my understanding of them. Dog and the bone but not quite. Gol spot was Ghum ghum…


On facilitation in unfacilitated spaces by Akhila Khanna

I love knowing. Knowing what game I will facilitate when, gives me a great amount of comfort, joy and confidence in spaces where I otherwise feel intimidated. With the pandemic, I felt as if my desire to know had met the face of a child sticking its tongue out and yelling “I don’t know aannnyyythinggg!”. …


The facilitators’ collective met to discuss and imagine the possibilities of various themes that emerged from the reading of the two articles: ‘Meeting Otherness’ and ‘The Path to Practice’. The discussion was a space of ideating, listening, imagining and acknowledging. Amongst the various topics that were spoken of, key highlights that I could gather were on the themes of: ‘other-ing and otherness’, ‘care’ and the way we, as facilitators, can be self-aware for every diverse group that we interact with.

As a new member to a space, I was curious to hear everyone in the group, waiting in anticipation of…


The dramatic space often resembles the world of pretend play that children indulge in when left to themselves. However, the structures created around a facilitated “class”, especially on an online platform can make ‘pretending’ a little more challenging. Entering a space of imagination is only possible when all the players consent to it. What role could we as facilitators play in the virtual space that encourages children to play along?

We (Devika and Akhila) launched into a month-long Process Drama with 6 bubbly 5-year-olds to explore this question. …


Reflections on a non-exhaustive list of apologies while facilitating online spaces

In our last Facilitator’s Collective meeting Subu raised an important question — how can we as facilitators BE ourselves and find ways to remain open to changes in a workshop?

This question led me to another one — what does it even mean to ‘be myself’ as a facilitator? That too right now when workshop walls have collapsed into workshop screens? My personal space — a room where I used to relax after long hours of standing and engaging with participants — is now suddenly transformed into that very…

Aagaaz Theatre Trust

An arts based organisation dedicated to creating inclusive learning spaces that nurture curiosity and critical thought while creating safe spaces for dialogue.

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