The International Theatre Festival for Young Audiences (TIFLI), which began on February 17, aims to emphasize the significance of performing arts in improving educational needs of children.
"The plays are specially designed for children's interest. Every play has something for them to learn and enjoy from. But honestly, we do not want them to preach anything, because the moment we start preaching, the idea becomes limited for them," says Imran Khan, TIFLI Director.

ASSITEJ India, an organ of international association of theatre for children and young people, is organising the event.  "We want them to come here, get entertained and learn about the different styles of performances,” says Khan.

The 'Patiada Theatre from Denmark, Theatre Avogado from Germany, 7-5-1 Group Company from Iran and Interact Sri Lanka from Sri Lanka are participating in the festival.
Among the 10 theatre companies from India are 'Mind Chatter' from Kolkata, 'Gillo' from Mumbai, 'Yellow Cat Theatre Company' from Delhi and 'Rangshankaria' from Bangalore.
The company from Bangalore has brought the concept of 'Sand Art' to depict various scenarios, and say they won't be creating any sets for their play "Mulla Nasreddin", based on an ancient Persian folk character.

"The company will use Sand Art instead of a set for the play. So the sand artist will create every backdrop of the play live as the act progresses. I think children will love the sand acts," Khan said.
Most of the companies prefer new and self-written plays performed by professional artists for the week-long festival.

"The theatre is changing these days. Most of the companies believe in presenting new and original works, written by them," says the director.
The German troupes are set to stage two versions of their play "King's Journey". The festival also features various styles of plays namely Dance Theatre, Object Theatre, Puppet Theatre, Musical Theatre, Mime Theatre and Live action. "Performances will be done in six different languages," says the director.

"We have invited street performers, which are different from Nukkad Natak, who used to perform on streets and roads earlier but have slowly died down," says Khan.
Acrobats, jugglers, magicians, bioscope handlers as well as practitioners of other mediums of entertaining which have been lost over the years are set to display their skills.
ASSITEJ India, an alliance of seven children's theatre groups, was set up in 2004.


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