A powerful performance always leaves an everlasting impression. It lingers on and resides in you longer than any motion picture. An experience which whenever recalled still gives you goosebumps! Ever thought about the mortals who create such experiences. The perseverance and passion they possess to constantly nurture talent and create phenomenal drama. Arundathi Raja and Jagdish Raja, legendary theatre artists are two such dedicated stalwarts keeping the art of theatre, alive and vibrant in the city of Bengaluru. Jagriti is their labour of love!
Initially a farm, it was a space where many iconic plays, produced by the group were performed. The couple formed the Artistes’ Repertory Theatre in 1982, one of Bangalore’s oldest and most prolific English theatre groups. It has honed some of the best talents and produced historic productions. My Cousin Rachel, Death and the Maiden, Gati – The Yogi to name a few.
Opened formally in 2011, Jagriti (which means awakening) is a space that is dedicated to Theatre, Music, Dance and Comedy. A dream that turned into reality, after an amazing journey, across 30 years; producing, directing, casting and staging over 70 plays at venues from Bengaluru to London. The farm since then has transformed into an amazing house of talent and for talent.
Situated in Whitefield, Bengaluru, Jagriti primarily is a 200 seater, fully equipped thrust auditorium. A place every artist would love to perform at and any audience would love to experience.
Apart from a beautifully decorated lobby, there is an attached restaurant, a cafeteria and a green room for the actors to interact and rest. An extension from the lobby into the outer space- Lumbini is a stage open to the sky. This terraced balcony can accommodate 80 people. The rooftop is another open-to-the sky space with a stage that can accommodate 50 people.
Jagriti runs a number of theatre related programmes to suit all ages.
Theatre Arts Program – An after school program for kids between 8-18 years. The program is spread over 9 months and has flexible timings to fit into any kid’s routine.
If you’re a performing artist you could get an assessment here. The accreditation from Trinity College, London certifies your performance and is recognized all over the world. Jagriti also runs Corporate and Adult Workshops to nurture individual talent through different exercises and techniques.
The space is indeed a valuable addition by the couple to the artist community. They were conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Thespo 13.
If we have got you all excited and you think Jagriti is the space for you, you can even become a volunteer! All you need to do is to just drop in a line. Quoting from their manifesto: “I did a lot of plays in school and college, even inter-college competitions. But after all these years … I wish I could start again!”
Courtesy: Stage Culture