From 14 Nov to 1 Dec 2019, nearly 100 events were presented at the inaugural edition of the ThinkArts International Festival for Young Audiences.The festival featured performances from Scotland, Norway, Germany, France, Australia and India which have been part of prestigious festivals like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Dublin Festival, Serendipity Arts Festival and others. Hosted at multiple venues across the city, it reached out to audiences as young as 3 months old to teenagers, and their grown-ups as well. Apart from performances, the festival also featured creative workshops, film screenings, art-making and more.
Visiting artists and companies included:
Andy Cannon & Red Bridge Arts from Scotland with Is this A Dagger? The story of Macbeth
Katja Lindeberg from Norway with If Only Rosa Could Do Magic
Curious Seed from Scotland with Chalk About
Sally Chance from Australia with Touch & Go
Anne Kathryn Klatt, Figurentheatre from Germany with Dumpu Dinki
Gillo Repertory Theatre from Mumbai with Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds
Drama Queen from Bangalore with Lady Anandi
Tadpole Repertory from Delhi with Plasticity
Jhalapala from Kolkata with Littu
At the festival, we also presented performances of Into the Daydreaming & Cooking Pot; shows that were produced by ThinkArts in collaboration with renowned international artists. Both these shows were part of a Special Weekend for Under 5s and their grown-ups to be held at the Kolkata Centre for Creativity (KCC).
Apart from KCC, the other venues for the workshops and performances at the Festival included Gyan Manch, ICCR, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Sienna café, Openhouse, Janus, Alliance Francaise, House of SOW, Primary Colours, The Doodle Room, The Creative Arts Studio, The Little Gym, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Modern Academy of Continuing Education.
Two schools, Mahadevi Birla World Academy & Indus Valley World School came on board as venue partners for the shows that were held exclusively for students & teachers.
Some of the shows at the Festival were also performed at cities outside Kolkata through collaboration with partners such as the Mumbai Literature Live Festival, Hyderabad Children’s Festival and Attakalari.
Students and teachers from Noida attended the festival as delegates.
A Festival of this scale was possible only through generous support from cultural agencies and well-wishers.
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, G.D. Pharmaceuticals, My Space, British Council Kolkata & Australian Consulate Kolkata were the major supporters for this festival. The Prabha Khaitan Foundation & Birla Academy of Art & Culture also extended their support to ThinkArts. Most venues offered their spaces on a complimentary basis or at discounts. The international artists have secured funding from international agencies to support their travel.
Several friends and well-wishers have come forward to contribute to the crowd funding campaign.