Prayas launches Actors Workshop for children

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Staff Reporter

One of the largest Community Theatre groups of New Zealand is launching a series of Actors Workshops for children next month.

Organised and promoted by ‘Prayas,’ a professional, not-for-profit theatre group which has produced and presented several successful plays for well over 14 years, the Workshops will be facilitated by Padma Akula, an Award-winning film and theatre artiste based in Auckland.

A press note said that the Workshops will introduce children to techniques and activities such as ‘Savasana,’ Super Brain Yoga, Movement and Voice exercises, and a book exchange Programme (including Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle, and others).

About Padma Akula

Padma Akula (Picture Supplied)

Having worked in the creative industry in Indian Cinema and New Zealand Theatre productions, Padma noticed a gap in creative learning for South Asian children in Auckland. She saw that often, the only connection that second and third-generation children have with India is through Indian cinema.

“The only options available for them to connect to their roots are either via Hindi and other Indian language films, dancing or through Indian Classical Music and Dance,” she said.

The idea of developing a programme for children looking for alternative forms of expression other than singing and dancing struck her in 2008 when Padma facilitated Super Brain Yoga workshops for children during summer holidays at the Pranic Healing Centre in India.

She used her creative industry experience to make the Programme educational and yet entertaining.

Now, almost 11 years later, she is manifesting her desire and working on lesson plans for this Prayas initiative.

A Wing for Children

Padma said that she is looking forward to expanding the Children’s Theatre Wing in Prayas from 2020 and that the Workshop series will be the first step towards that goal.

The four-day workshop (all held on Sundays) is being offered at an accessible and subsidised rate of $50. Limited spaces available. E-mail to register your interest.

With Reporting by Alisha Iyer

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