Aagaaz Theatre Trust
Acting to Change
Aagaaz is the Urdu word for ‘beginnings’.
Operating at the grassroots level, we are a community of educators and arts practitioners, committed to examining and questioning ‘what is’, to inquire ‘what could be’.
Aagaaz practices theatre and arts for social action to bridge gaps in learning, understanding the ‘other’, access, and dignity. We create spaces to engage with children and young adults across social and geographical boundaries, relentlessly questioning ‘what is’ to probe ‘what could be', to discover ways of ‘act-ing’, with its dual meaning of performing on stage and taking action for self and society.
At the core of our work is Aagaaz’s repertory, composed of 11 young actors from Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti who are arts practitioners, theatre makers, and facilitators. The repertory has taken our work to 10 cities across the country and have performed/are performing in prestigious festivals such as Gender Bender 2016, Saharanpur Pustak Mela 2016, The Old World Theatre Festival 2018, META 2019 (we won the Special Jury Award), The Hindu Metroplus 2019, Equal Festival at Ranga Shankara 2019, Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival 2019, and Serendipity Arts Festival 2019.
What we do
We engage with children and young adults across social and geographical boundaries through drama-based processes. Our theatre repertory creates and performs plays for cross-demographic audiences to initiate dialogue. We hold spaces through short intensive workshops, performance, and long-term community based commitments to deepen engagement with the self, the other, and the world.
Process-based in-person and cascaded digital engagements with children, and change-makers. The programs create safe spaces that build a deep understanding of the self in relationship with others and the larger society
Creating, rehearsing and performing is an extension of our process-based work in Ajab Gajab. Our productions co-created by the repertory and playwrights/directors from the city, raise questions that urge audiences to engage in dialogues with contemporary issues.
We believe that in the process of ACTing, both the performer, by being witnessed, and the audience, by witnessing, is transformed.