By Apoorvah Sankaran and Nupur Sachdev

A fun-filled story-telling workshop by Vikram Sridhar, “Around the Story Tree” had the young audience involved in the story telling process right from the start. A professional theatre performer, Sridhar made sure the session was super interactive and a lot of fun. He took into consideration not just the children’s ideas but also their opinions and feelings.

The main characters were a colorful collection of animals. The stories focused on themes related to the environment. There was no stereotyping of animal characteristics or behavior allowed. Sridhar made sure his audience understood how serious he was about this too!

One of the most interesting aspects of observing the session was to watch the way Sridhar used the children’s reactions to shape the evolution of his stories. It was a phenomenal tactic to teach children how to think on their feet and was also a subtle way to make them realize that stories are best when they come from within. Real experiences in real lives are what add the essential human touch to any story and for young storytellers who perhaps aspire to be writers in the future – this is great learning.

After the narration, the children were called up to join Sridhar in a theatrical rendition of the stories they had created together.With plenty of loud cries, animal sounds, and animated facial expressions, the co-created theatre was a wonderful treat for the audience. This exercise was as close as one could get to the art of folk story telling and proved to be a great learning process for children. Surely, there will be budding actors in the crowd as well.

After all, nothing gives more joy than seeing your thoughts and ideas come to life in a play. The performance was a splendid way to end an immensely insightful session for children.