Robi’s Garden is a dramatised performance based on Rabindranath Tagore’s tales.
The material is drawn from a great fund of Tagore’s writing, a lot of it for children, but enjoyed by grown-up audiences widely. These include verse, prose, short stories, plays, sketches (his “riddle plays”), fantasies, autobiographical writing, (esp. his childhood memories), and the letters to his grand-daughter and other children.
A small group of children is on an excursion to Jorasanko where Tagore’s ancestral home is located in Kolkata. They enter the courtyard theatre in Thakur-badi and sense a magical air surrounding them. The caretaker of the estate shares an important mantra of Robi-da with the children – that the first step in getting what you want in life is …. imagination. It is the surest way to have Robi-da’s stories come alive on the courtyard stage. And they do – in Robi’s Garden!
Vijay Padaki & Minti Jain, Theatre Artists and Educators
Vijay Padaki is a theatre educator based in Bangalore. He has worn two caps all his life. One of them is in management, with a special interest in organization and institutional development. He was part of the founding faculty of IIM Bangalore. The other cap is in the theatre, being associated with Bangalore Little Theatre (BLT) from inception. He is particularly committed to dissemination in the Theatre, which is reflected in his long track record in writing and training. Vijay was responsible for several long term thrusts of BLT. For instance – a Children’s Theatre programme, including Education Enrichment initiatives, the annual Summer Project on Theatre (SPOT), and the highly acclaimed History of Ideas programme for biographical pays. He has written over 50 original plays in English. In addition, he has adapted or translated several other play scripts. Created in 1960, BLT is into its Diamond Jubilee year. As part of the celebrations there is a huge publications project undertaken, bringing out all the plays developed over the years. The first 3 Volumes of plays were released before the pandemic struck. At least 6 more Volumes are expected to be ready by the end of 2020. Vijay is the Series Editor.
Minti Jain, the fellow actor, is a theatre educator in Bangalore Little Theatre. She is a trained trainer-facilitator, besides being an experienced actor and dancer. She is the current Coordinator of BLT’s Education Enrichment programme and in the forefront of Theatre-in-Education. Her team developed original methodology development in TIE for Sustainability Education in schools.