Monday, December 4, 2017

Gillo On The Go - traveling with theatre for children - a short report

Gillo On The Go is an initiative of the Gillo Repertory Theatre, to travel with 
theatre for children. In November 2017 a team of 10 artists travelled across 
eleven places in Karnataka. The 15 day journey covered 2878 kilometres and 
reached 3082 children and adults. Plays, workshops and a mobile library were a part of the project.

Performance of 'Catch That Crocodile!' at Viveka Tribal School, Hosahalli, Saragur
This initiative was supported by 'Friends of Gillo' and undertaken in partnership 
with Dr. Gubbi Veeranna Trust (Gubbi), Untitled Arts Foundation (Bengaluru), 
Avalahalli Residents Group (Avalahalli), Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement 
(Sargur, H D Kote), Shantala Kalavidaru (Chamrajnagar) and Ninasam (Heggodu).


Play: Catch That Crocodile!
children 4 to 10 years (aanganwadi and primary school)
English | 45 min
10 performances with post show interaction
Play: Hanuman Ki Ramayan
children 8 to 16 years (primary and high school)
Hindi | 45 min
6 performances with post show interaction
Play: One To Ten (premiere)
children 8 to 12 years (primary school)
Gibberish | 45 min
3 performances with post show interaction
Creative drama workshops
children 6 to 16 years
storytelling, ensemble work, physical theatre
8 workshops
Teachers’ workshop
school teachers
focus on art in education, performing arts for children
1 workshop
Artists in dialogue
local artists, educators and drama students
sharing work practice, models of TYA in use, challenges, collaboration opportunities
4 sessions
Mobile library
children 6 to 16 years
100 books in Kannada, Hindi and English
8 sessions

Workshop after a show at Govt Lower Primary School, Avalahalli

Library session at Chamrajnagar

To take the magic of live performances to children across the length and breadth of India, through plays and workshops specially created for them.

Benefits for Children
- enabled children in 11 cities/towns/villages to have access to theatre, in their schools and communities
- introduced children to storytelling, ensemble work and physical theatre through creative drama 

Benefits for the Community 
- provided opportunities for 16 schools to either host a performance/workshop or bring students to the theatre.
- enabled venues to host exclusive arts programming for children.
- helped local partners develop and deepen their ties with schools in their vicinity.
- enabled local partners to start their own theatre-based programming for children.

Benefits for Artists
- led to the professional development of the team of ten artists from Gillo.
- enabled artists to understand the impact of their work outside the metro cities.
- provided artists the opportunity to interact with local theatre practitioners and 
educators to share ways of working, contexts and ideas

Workshop at Viveka School of Excellence, Sargur
- introduced TYA to new audiences (many seeing a play for children for the first time)
- planted the seed of building a theatre-watching habit for 3000 children and their 
parents and teachers
- developed a circuit of organisations interested in hosting TYA performances thus creating opportunities for other TYA practitioners
- introduced and demonstrated ideas and modules of ‘Arts in education’ for local schools 
and educators to take up
- demonstrated the feasibility of travelling with theatre for children outside cities and into towns and villages
- reduced the environmental impact of such a project by adopting a Green Charter
Gillo team learning a local dance from senior students at the Viveka Tribal School, Hosahalli, Sargur

Gillo On The Go team
Adhrit Singh, repertory artist
Atul Somkuwar, repertory artist
Barkha Fatnani, repertory artist 
Dhanesh Gopalakrishnan, repertory artist
Janit Temkar, repertory artist
Nishna Mehta, repertory artist
Sriparna Chatterjee, repertory artist
Swati Singh, repertory artist
Shaili Sathyu, Artistic Director 
Tanya Mahajan, Trustee, Gillo Foundation

Gillo team that travelled across Karnataka
(Front: Sriparna, Tanya, Barkha, Adhrit | Back: Shaili, Janit, Dhanesh, Nishna, Atul, Swati)
Dr. Gubbi Veeranna Trust, Gubbi
Avalahalli Residents Group, Avalahalli
Shantala Kalavidaru, Chamrajnagar
Untitled Arts Foundation, Bengaluru
Swami Vivekanand Youth Movement, Sargur, HD Kote
Ninasam, Heggodu


A project by GILLO FOUNDATION’s ‘Gillo Repertory Theatre’

Thursday, October 26, 2017


As we prepare for our #GilloOnTheGo KA 2017 tour, here is a Green Charter that we have shared with each team member.

Our primary aim is to travel to places and share our work through the medium of theatre. But we feel we must be responsible in other areas, especially in the use of resources and waste management. Hence the Green Charter. 

It is important that EVERY team member follows these guidelines, so that we can succeed in our collective mission.

It has been carefully thought out and made with an understanding of how our tour days work. We have tried to follow these all through October, and hopefully we shall continue to do so after we return from the trip as well :)

Main areas of focus:
1. Reduce use of plastic
2. Reduce wastage (use) of water
3. Reduce waste; Recycle where possible; Responsible disposal of waste
4. Responsible purchase of local food with minimal packaging
5. Minimal sound / noise pollution
6. Thoughtful use of material for Display and Decor

1. No plastic plates, spoons, cups, etc. for food
2. Personal mugs for tea
3. Avoiding purchase of things in plastic bags / wrapped in plastic
4. No flex for display 
5. Use of cloth bags for most things (except wet stuff)

1. NO purchase of bottled water
2. All team members to use re-fillable bottles; locally sourced filtered water will be available
3. Minimum use of water while washing plates, etc. [To try the 2 tub method as and when possible]
4. 1 bucket bath once a day ONLY
5. Scheduled washing of clothes (as well as costumes)

1. Dialogue with hosts in advance on waste; disposal with care (incl. personal hygiene products)
2. No wastage of food; food once taken on plate must be finished. If food is left-over after everyone has eaten, to take steps to make the best use of that food. 
3. Avoiding the use of tissue paper / toilet paper (unless there is no water)
4. When discarding waste, wash and dry the waste so it's easy to recycle

Purchase of local food, free from packaging
1. Purchase of local food from local vendors (no purchase from malls and chain stores). E.g. seasonal fruits, local bread, local snacks (could be street food)
2. No soda and sugar based drinks in any form will be purchased
3. No tetrapack based drinks will be purchased (e.g. juice) or sachet based drinks will be purchased (e.g. chaas in a plastic bag)
4. No straws will be used at all. 
5. If you would like to drink something, nimbu pani can be made for the whole team (needs prior scheduling). Similarly, chaas can be made for the entire team with prior scheduling.
6. No purchase of snacks and biscuits in individually wrapped plastic wrappers 
7. If biscuits / snacks are unavoidable, then a scheduled visit to local bakery to purchase the said snack / biscuit. 
8. We will have an emphasis on local food, so even while we are in a larger city/town, and we may schedule a meal together at a restaurant, it will not be KFC, McD, pizza, etc. 

Sound and Noise Pollution
1. Being respectful of hosts and locals; speaking softly individually and as a group
2. No use of speakers for playing personal music (unless the same is a planned session with permission)
3. Being present in the moment while travelling and not plugging out or singing Antakshari in the bus

Display and D├ęcor
1. Made from recycled material available with us already
2. Dismantle-able and re-usable during tour and after
3. Cloth preferred over paper that is preferred over plastic
4. Easy to hang and remove anywhere (on bus, on window, on a tree, etc.)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mobile Library

#GilloOnTheGo is an initiative to take theatre for children to places across India.

More info at

As a part of our traveling theatre project, we are also taking a Mobile Library.

We are collecting books in ALL languages.

If you would like to contribute to our Mobile Library, please post 5 books from your country to our postal address:
4 Sagar Sameep
Kishore Kumar Marg
Juhu Tara
Mumbai 400049

Please keep in mind:
  • Picture books are preferred.
  • Books on nature, animals, children, food, culture of your country would work well for us
  • You could avoid books with too much urban content (images and motifs)
  • We would prefer books for children between 4 years and 12 years.
  • It would be great if you can send us a storyline in English. we shall paste that on the inside cover.

Friends in India can send books in any Indian language, provided the books have nice illustrations that can be 'read' by all children.

You can also support us by making your contribution at:


#GilloOnTheGo - A Theatre Tour Across Karnataka

The idea behind the tour
While travelling theatre troupes and performances are an intrinsic part of the local culture in several parts of India, children, however, are usually the secondary audiences of such performances. It is time to change this. It is time to take the magic of live performances to children across the length and breadth of India, through plays specially created for them.
We at Gillo would like to make a small beginning in this mission.
Giving children access to live performances: We at Gillo would like to share our performances, that have been created and designed especially for children, with young audiences across India, but most particularly, in non-metro areas, where the opportunities for children to access such experiences is limited. In our seven years of working with and for children, we have seen the joy and transformative power that live performances can bring to children and we really want to extend ourselves to reach more children in more places.
Seeding TYA along the route: The specialised practice of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) is at a nascent stage in India. Through this road trip, our endeavor is to introduce schools and other institutions working with children to the ideas and work of TYA, and with continued interactions and exchanges after this road trip, to work with them and bring about gradual changes in the ways of understanding, learning and working with children in their formative years, using theatre.
Building a network: One of our long term objectives is also to create a network of institutions that are interested in arts and cultural experiences for young audiences and to enable other practitioners to engage similarly with them, all around the year. 
So in November this year, we are off to Karnataka, to share our performances, our stories and our dreams.
We hope that this tour is the first of many! From the multiple directions, routes and circuits available to us, we have selected a route and itinerary, based on some of our past engagements and interactions.
The tour rests on partnerships with local organisations in Gubbi, Bangalore, Mysore, Chamrajanagara and Heggodu, who are already engaged with children and / or theatre, either through schools or other organisational models.

WHAT are we taking to communities?
  • Plays (English, Hindi, non-verbal, storytelling)
  • Theatre Workshops for children
  • Theatre Workshops for teachers
  • Artistic exchange workshop with local arts community
  • Mobile Library (300 books)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Summer 2017 with Gillo

It's that time of the year again!
Catch the gilehris at Prithvi Theatre and NCPA from 1st to 3rd June.

A SILLY STORY OF BONDAPALLI (5 - 10 yrs & adults)
A story about food lovers and fussy eaters.

Story by Shamim Padamsee
Directed by Timira Gupta
Performed by Rutuja Nagwekar, Sahil Gangurde, Janit Temkar, Vikrant Singh, Dhanesh Gopalakrishnan, Prasad Dagare and Atul Somkuwar.

1st June, Thursday at 12 noon, 4 pm & 7 pm, Prithvi Theatre, Juhu.
Prithvi Theatre Box Office - 26149546

3rd June, Saturday at 4 pm, Godrej Dance theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
NCPA Box Office - 66223754/66223724

KYUN-KYUN LADKI (5 - 12 yrs & adults)
Enter the magical world of questions!

Story by Mahashweta Devi
Directed by Shaili Sathyu
Performed by Barkha Fatnani, Jigna Khajuria, Devi Ahmed, Afsana Ahmed, Ritul Singh, Prasad Dagare, Janit Temkar, Rutuja Nagwekar, John Soans, Atul Somkuwar and Manoj Karki 

2nd June, Friday at 12 noon, 4 pm & 7 pm.
Prithvi Theatre Box Office - 26149546

Friday, January 6, 2017

CATCH THAT CROCODILE in your neighbourhood!

Gillo Repertory Theatre's play for January 2017 CATCH THAT CROCODILE!, is coming to a venue near you!

14th January, Saturday at The Cuckoo Club, Bandra (W) at 11:30 am.
15th January, Sunday at CLAP Center, Malad (W) at 11 am.  

Every month we shall bring plays for children to select venues across the city. 
This is a part of our initiative to perform at neighbourhood spaces across Mumbai, which started in September 2016 and shall continue through 2017.

Performance 45 min + workshop 45 min (optional)
Suggested age 4 to 8 years
(Children below 4 or above 8 shall not be permitted for the workshop. There shall be no refund) 

Based on a story by Anushka Ravishankar
Directed by Shaili Sathyu
Sound designed by Hetal Varia
Production designed by Tanya Mahajan, Shaili Sathyu
Cast: Manoj Karki, Prasad Dagare, Sahil Gangurde, Ghanshyam Tiwari, Jigna Khajuria, Nishna Mehta, Janit Temkar