The Kattaikkuttu Youth Theatre School was established in 2002 by P.Rajagopal and Hanne M. de Bruin, and caters for children, who are interested in receiving a regular education (Tamil, English, Maths, Social Sciences, Computer Skills) as well as training to become professional Kattaikkuttu actors, actresses, and musicians. Traditionally, young boys would apprentice with a theatre company from the age of 10 years old and thus their education would be curtailed at this point due to the rigors of the theatre’s company schedule; all night performances for 3 to 4 months of the year. At this residential school, girls are trained alongside the boys allowing equal opportunity in the training, and widening their future possibilities. The students primarily come from families living below the minimum subsistence level, and thus this school offers a unique opportunity.
Images from video documentaries taken from 2002 through to the present including village overnight performance, make up, school work, workshops conducted by Compagnia Teatro DimitriVerscio, Switzerland and Sangeeta Isvaran, Chennai, India, peformance of Rabindranath Tagore’s play Bisarjan (Deliverance) adapted into Tamil, and various other performances.
Punjarasantantankal Village (near Kanchipuram), Tamil Nadu