What is Thespo
Thespo is a youth theatre movement that began in 1999 as a one act play festival. Its initial aims were to recognise, promote and showcase the best youth theatre that is available in India. This remains the core belief, however from merely an end-of-year festival; Thespo has evolved into an all year round activity. Workshops and training opportunities are now also a major part of the Thespo agenda.
All the participants at Thespo have to be under 25 years of age. It is a platform for any and every young person under 25 who is interested in any and all aspects of theatre. Except for the age limit, Thespo firmly believes in including youth from all parts of the world, all fields, all language groups and all art forms who share a love for theatre. Even the workshops conducted are either free of cost or kept very nominal in order to widen its reach and make theatre accessible to everyone. The festival magazine is sold at a highly subsidised rate and student tickets are priced low in order to fulfil the aims of Thespo.
The movement culminates in a festival every December in Bombay where scores of participants under 25 years of age come together to organise a national theatre festival, stage full length productions, short performances in informal spaces, attend workshops, build bridges across different schools of theatre, find friendships across thousands of miles, learn about theatre/life/themselves, form a living thriving dynamic community of likeminded young individuals. At the end of the festival, awards and cash prizes are presented in various acting, writing, directing and production categories as an added incentive.
During the year, numerous activities happen across the country - workshops, interactions and even restaging of work that featured in the festival. In fact since 2007, Thespo has tied up with Prithvi Theatre to curate youth theatre each month at the prestigious venue in a programme aptly titled Thespo at Prithvi. This programme has allowed young people to go from just ‘doing’ a play, to forming ‘groups’.
Over the years Thespo has made a significant impact on the Indian and particularly Bombay theatre scene. Numerous plays and even films feature writers, directors, actors, designers and stage managers who have all been part of the Thespo experience.
Think Theatre….think Thespo.