In the thirteenth session of Unrehearsed Futures (Season 2), global theatre-makers Eric Ting and Kirtana Kumar delved deep into how the pandemic has changed their communities in terms of who they engage with and who they engage for. Both Ting and Kumar shared their experiences and understanding from across the globe, with Ting, the artistic director of California Shakespeare Theatre, in Orinda, California and Kumar, artistic director of Infinite Souls Farm, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
During this past year, there has been a shift towards seeing art through the world, Ting expressed, where art is not at the centre of things but the community is, and art happens to be simply one of several tools available to people. It has changed what it means to be resilient, he said.
Similarly, the pandemic resulted in an enormous change in how Kumar viewed her community as she moved out of an urban space to live on her farm and found new engagements with theatre through the land.
During the conversation, Ting and Kumar also spoke about finding new ways to shift the centres of power within theatre and performance and reject the cannibalistic ethics of otherness. Other thoughts around white adjacency, connecting to a community, understanding what allyship means and asking ourselves, as theatre practitioners, whether we are giving our community a wonderful way to live and get past the dark moments of life also came up.
STAY TUNED! We will be publishing a long-form article about the talk and the ideas/themes that emerged during the session on our blog in the coming weeks.
Compiled and written by Phalguni Vittal Rao
Access the entire session on our YouTube channel: