A Class Act

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Tal­ented ac­tor and theatre per­son­al­ity LIL­LETTE DUBEY is head­ing the Lil­lette Dubey Theatre Acad­emy for Chil­dren at Gera De­vel­op­ments’ first Child Cen­tric Homes – Song of Joy. She speaks to Citadel on con­nect­ing with the project in such an in­ter­est­ing man­ner and more.

sn any­one around and most of us have had an e Se­ri­ence of beinJ Sart of the theatre world or at least watched it. ome of us are more avid fans of the staJe. Theatre has a way of en­ter­tain­inJ you and Jiv­inJ you a Ser­sSec­tive line no other. The world of theatre is an ad­dic­tion. ust asn any­one who has been a Sart of it. Ac­tor il­liam afoe made an in­ter­estinJ state­ment Great theatre is about chal­lenJinJ how we thinn and en­cour­aJinJ us to fan­tasi e about a world we asSire to.’ hat if theatre artists come closer to you so that theatre be­comes a Sart of your chil­dren’s learn­inJ e Se­ri­ence That can haSSen if you are stay­inJ in onJ of oy, Gera evel­oS­ments’ first ChildCen­tric Homes at Kharadi. Gera evel­oSers have in­auJu­rated the Lil­lette ubey Theatre Acad­emy for Chil­dren here, which will be Lil­lette ubey’s first acad­emy in ,ndia. he had in­auJu­rated it and had also con­ducted an in­ter­ac­tive and fun-filled aJic of Theatre’ worn­shoS for chil­dren of Gera’s onJ of oy and Greensville. Lil­lette sSone e clu­sively on this new SroMect of hers, the Slans she has for them and also the theatre world too.

MAK­ING A START

hen some­one as e Se­ri­enced as Lil­lette ubey con­nects with an orJani­sa­tion to start a theatre acad­emy for chil­dren, one is neen to nnow what made her start it. hat were her rea­sons for con­nect­inJ with Gera evel­oS­ments to start this acad­emy he is very clear in her rea­sons, “Gera’s ChildCen­tric Homes is an in­no­va­tive con­ceSt that Sro­vides the best oSSor­tu­ni­ties in dif­fer­ent dis­ciS­lines to nur­ture the nat­u­ral tal­ents of chil­dren. , am deliJhted that my first Theatre Acad­emy in the coun­try is housed at Gera’s onJ of oy, une. As Sar­ents, it is es­sen­tial to e Sose your chil­dren to var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties. They may or may not end uS lin­inJ all of them, but it will helS them nnow where their in­ter­est lies. ith so many dif­fer­ent acad­e­mies un­der one roof and riJht within their build­inJ camSus,

chil­dren can ex­plore dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties and pick what they find most ex­cit­ing to train in.

THE PLAN­NING

,t is ob­vi­ous that a cer­tain amount of plan­ning goes a long way to make run­ning any­thing eas­ier. or the acad­emy, we as­sume that il­lette has chalked out a plan. e Tui her about it and the things that will be of­fered at this place. She re­veals, “ e have con­cluded our first batch at Gera’s Song of Joy last month and by end of June, we had planned an­other batch. ur­ing my ses­sion with the chil­dren, , ob­served that they are clear about what they want to be­come, and theatre, in a way, will help them fo­cus, think out of the box, and also sup­port them to think cre­atively. My acad­emy at Gera’s ChildCen­tric Homes – Song of Joy will help build con­fi­dence, ex­plore and en­hance their per­son­al­ity through var­i­ous kinds of ex­er­cises, im­pro­vi­sa­tion, games, fo­cus ex­er­cises, warm ups etc. which will help them grow as an in­di­vid­ual. rama is not struc­tured, un­like other acad­e­mies like dance, ten­nis, mu­sic, cricket, etc. ,t’s a cre­ative per­form­ing art space. ,n fact, in atch , , would want chil­dren to write their own scripts , would want to nudge them to think cre­atively. e are re­as­sured with the fact that she wants the in­ter­ested chil­dren to fully ab­sorb the nu­ances of the world of theatre. ,n any case, it needs to be en­grained in them nat­u­rally.

THEATRE EF­FECT

ny teach­ing, if put forth rightly, will have an ef­fect on kids. Th­ese will be lessons to last a life­time. per­form­ing art like theatre will surely have a great im­pact on grow­ing kids. e want il­lette to elab­o­rate more about how theatre can im­pact the kids. How were her pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences in deal­ing with kids in theatre She is Tuick to re­ply to this Tues­tion, “Hav­ing been in­volved in theatre for over years, , have ob­served that it grooms chil­dren and adults alike into ex­pres­sive, con­fi­dent in­di­vid­u­als, who are more self aware and more sen­si­tive to the nu­ances of hu­man in­ter­ac­tion and group dy­nam­ics. ,t helps them over­come in­hi­bi­tions, in­stils self con­fi­dence, hones pub­lic speak­ing skills and lays the foun­da­tion for them to be bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tors and lead­ers. ith in­Tuis­i­tive kids around you and some­thing as cre­ative as theatre, the re­sponse must have been great. She agrees on this point. She dis­closes, “The first batch of the theatre acad­emy at Gera’s Song of Joy con­cluded a few months back. The first work­shop was some­thing , per­son­ally con­ducted in May , and the chil­dren, , must say, were ex­cep­tion­ally en­thu­si­as­tic. ,n one of the ac­tiv­i­ties, the chil­dren were asked to share what they’d like to choose as their ca­reer and a lot of them came up with un­con­ven­tional ca­reer paths. They were very spon­ta­neous and could pick up rel­a­tively com­plex ac­tiv­i­ties eas­ily. , thor­oughly enMoyed my­self and look for­ward to con­duct­ing a cou­ple of work­shops more with the chil­dren at Gera’s Song of Joy. ith such en­thu­si­as­tic and ea­ger minds around you, one is bound to enMoy the teach­ing process.

IN­DUS­TRY TALK

Most have seen il­lette ubey in plays, tele­vi­sion and movies. He name is syn­ony­mous with Tual­ity work and good act­ing. hen it comes to theatre, she has been as­so­ci­ated with Tual­ity

pro­duc­tion work. She has een in the theatre world for Tuite some time. nd she has caused Tuite a few changes in the way peo­ple look at theatre when it comes to send­ing their kids to learn. She prefers to talk a out the growth of theatre as an in­dus­try. “The in­dus­try has grown enor­mously over the years and lots of peo­ple en oy do­ing theatre, and even t he au­di­ences have now evolved as t hey t ake more de­light in watch­ing live shows and theatre. There’s more and more peo­ple do­ing theatre to­day and I couldn’t e hap­pier.” s a theatre and movies per­son with a vast and strong ca­reer, she has seen theatre and also movies in In­dia change like no one else. fter all, il­lette is a stal­wart in th­ese fields. She says, “The au­di­ence to this day is e posed to a lot of e cit­ing con­tent via the in­ter­net. That is why their tastes have changed and they are con­stantly on the look­out for en­gag­ing con­tent. The de­mands are shift­ing. That is why new films like Masaan, New­ton and Lip­stick Un­der My Burkha are the ones that are now pa­troni ed in the in­dus­try. So, I think this is what is driv­ing a change in the film in­dus­try.” In re­cent times, e cept for her theatre work, we haven’t seen il­lette in a lot of films or even tele­vi­sion. It is as if she is hid­ing away. e Tui her again re­gard­ing this reclu­sive­ness and the rea­sons for slow­ing down her work. She hon­estly re­veals, “I find my­self very lucky, ecause I have done a wide va­ri­ety of roles over the pe­riod of time. I feel lessed I got to do Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Kal Ho Na Ho, Bagh­ban

and so many more films. I’m cur­rently shoot­ing a film with Rishi Kapoor and a we se­ries with Dar­shan Jari­wala, I feel e cited a out work­ing on the dig­i­tal plat­form, which is a whole new e pe­ri­ence.” e hope this tal­ented ac­tress is seen more for those who love her nat­u­ral act­ing style. Talk­ing to stal­warts like il­lette Du ey is an e pe­ri­ence in it­self. ctresses like her who also da le in good theatre pro­duc­tion work are a rare oc­cur­rence. Some­thing like il­lette Du ey Theatre cademy for chil­dren at Gera De­vel­op­ments’ first ChildCen­tric Homes Song of Joy is how we get to un­der­stand the tal­ent in her.

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