Infinite Futures, Infinite Souls

Kirtana Kumar / Theatre Lab (Youth)

For Theatre Lab (Youth) students, their only ’embodied’ time during the pandemic was when they came to our farm, in Covid bubbles, to live and work. They harvested fruit and made a blended work called “What’s Inside?”. They built a duck pond and debated whether algorithms were more dependable than emotions. We hosted one group of students for a three-month residency. They entered, scared, insecure and left feeling connected and inspired by every animal and tree on the farm.

What we discovered was that the imagination too, if stuck within a fixed framework of understanding, stops growing. It requires the honesty of witnessing birth and death to clear its cobwebs. What use is the theatre canon when faced with an apocalypse? What use are theatre icons when young people face an uncertain future?

We now use these terms to describe our work:
•Laboratory – the farm
•Experiments – involving labour as body conditioning
•Chemistry – reactions between people of different class, caste, language
•Biology – nature, the source of understanding, inspiration, healing
•Physics – the volume, mass, density of the audience we build
•Geography – the spatiality of virtual and physical stages
•History – prioritising our own oral histories
•Maths – the economics of theatre-making
•Language – the intersections and politics of language
•Culture – as being something alive and expressive

  • Bangalore, India, Asia
  • Programme Type: Workshop
  • Duration (minutes): 60
  • Ages: All Ages (Professional Content,Aimed Towards Adults)
  • Release Date: May 21, 2022
  • Language: English
  • Tags: social change, social justice & social innovation, theatre, training, young people

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Kirtana KUMAR, Workshop Leader
Pictures Credit: Theatre Lab (Youth)


Kirtana KUMAR is an Indian actor, director, dramaturg, and film-maker with 35 years of stage experience.

She teaches Theatre and Interculturality at various institutions. She developed and organised two national symposia on Dramaturgy (at Jagriti Theatre) and Theatre Pedagogy for Children (at Ranga Shankara) respectively. At the start of the pandemic, in June 2020, and together with Little Jasmine and Theatre Lab (Youth), she organised a national symposium called “Because the World is YOU” on Theatre Pedagogies for Children in the time of ZOOM. In March 2021, she was invited to be artist-in-residence by the Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München. During this period she curated Global Karnataka, a festival of theatre from Karnataka for TEAM Theater – and co-hosted a series of conversations on post-pandemic ideas for theatre and the arts at Meta Theater. Her latest work, developed at Villa Waldberta, Munich is a digital archive of communiqués between two women called Nagamma’s Letters and a book of short stories titled Bangalore / Blue Balls & Groovy Chicks.

She is a trustee of the Women Artists Group and runs the Little Jasmine Theatre Project, Theatre Lab (Youth) and Infinite Souls Farm & Artists Retreat. She currently serves as chairperson of the Board of Trustees at Visthar Institute of Development, an organisation that works on issues on peace and social justice among marginalised groups including for urban and rural Dalit youth.