The six-month mentorship program by the Indianostrum Open Theatre School is open to anyone interested in exploring a career in arts

“It took a decade to gradually build our theatre, our repertoire, and just when we made our presence felt, the pandemic struck. Now it is going to take another five years of hard work to rebuild Indianostrum,” says Koumarane Valavane, founder-director, Indianostrum Threatre, Puducherry. But it was also the lockdown that gave Koumarane the time to contemplate on the way forward and how to get audiences back to the theatre. To that end, Indianostrum has come up with a six-month mentorship program.

“In India, theatre training schools are few and expensive. In my 13 years of experience in theatre, I have realized that there is a disconnection between the public and the art. Which is why I decided to offer a six months mentorship program as part of our new initiative Indianostrum Open Theatre School,” says Koumarane. The focus of this program would majorly be on contributing to the artistic aspirations of young theatre enthusiasts. “This program aims to help aspirants find their language of expression and enable them to explore their relationship with art — be it theatre, music, dance, visual art or literature,” he explains.

Indianostrum Theatre, Puducherry, India. Photo: Original article.

This is a non-residential program, and participants can join the program from their base location across India.

“Art and artistic expression are alive and vibrant in India. I think that exploring one’s relationship with art is important. Therefore, in this program, the participants will learn to explore their relationship with art. Each of the participants will be assigned a mentor, who will guide them to connect with the world they live in, to find their voice, explore their strengths, likes and dislikes, purely concerning art,” Koumarane says. “The role of the mentor is to help the candidates find the right tools to stay on in their journey of artistic pursuit,” he adds.

  • The program is of six months duration, and is open to those above 18 years, with or without prior experience in performance.

  • A fee of Rs 7500 and caution deposit of Rs 2500 (refundable) to be paid before January 31. Upon successful completion, apart from the refundable deposit, they will get 25 percent of the course fee as well.

  • Shortlisted candidates need to attend a one week workshop at Puducherry from 7-13 January (cost of travel, accommodation to be borne by the participants).

  • The last date for registration is December 20, 2020, and the course begins on January 7, 2021. All candidates will receive a certificate of completion

  • To register, email: For details, call: 9820403308.

Koumarane has identified mentors who are trained in folk dance, painting, and writing, as well as journalists, directors, and film and theatre artists. A week-long training program for all the short-listed candidates will be conducted at Indianostrum Theatre, where each of the participants will be assessed, their area of interest identified, and a suitable mentor will be assigned. After the workshop, the candidates would return to their homes and continue their mentorship program with their mentors, even meeting them periodically.

Koumarane Valavane, founder/director of the Indianostrum Theatre. Indianostrum Theatre, Puducherry, India. Photo: The Hindu

So what would be the outcome of this six-month program?

“The mentorship would help candidates know themselves better, understand their strengths and enhance their artistic expressions,” says Koumarane. “But most importantly, they can decide on their next step, and we will also guide them should they need to undergo further formal training both in India and overseas in their chosen field of expression. This is also a chance for them to know if they can take up a career in arts or not.”

To register, email, or call 9820403308 before December 20.

Curtain call: 2020

The year ends on a positive note for Indianostrum, as they have been funded by the Les Zébrures d’automne à Limoges, Paris, and will be performing Flying Chariot at the festival in September 2021. The play is based on a theme from The Mahabharata but with contemporary dialogue. The play will be premiered in Puducherry, and then in Bengaluru in February 2021.

This article was originally published by The Hindu on December 3, 2020, and has been reposted with permission. To read the original article, click here.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.

This post was written by Chitradeepa Anantharam.

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