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Wheelchair artists in Kerala to stage Chaya, 1st of its kind theatre performance

January 22, 2019

Theatre performances are all about coordination, passion for the art and lots of fun. That is just what a group of wheelchair users from Ernakulam are gearing up for. The team on wheelchairs are practicing day and night to do their first theatre performance at Kochi in February.

The performance, titled Chaya, is another venture of Freedom on Wheels, run by a group of artists on wheelchairs. They claim that this theatre performance of wheelchair users is going to be the first of its kind in India.

'Freedom on wheels' has been actively performing music shows across Kerala. Chaya is completely organised by Suvarna Theatres, a theatre company based out of Kochi. So, right from the costumes to make-up, music, lighting and sets, Suvarna is going to handle it all for 'Chaya' which will be scripted and directed by V T Ratheesh. The organisers claim that the performance is going to be based on a family oriented story for a social cause where there is no prominence to use of wheelchairs. Suvarna is celebrating their golden anniversary this year!

Unni Maxx, a disability rights activist, is one of the core members of Freedom on Wheels, and he is also playing a part.

The idea of a theatre performance first came into our minds two years back. But we kept postponing it. Maybe, now was the right time. We have been undergoing rigorous practice sessions for the past two months. Some days, we stay at the camp to practice because most of the people come from different parts of the district. All of us were only used to performing music shows. So theatre experience is totally new to it. But we are all thoroughly enjoying it-Unni Maxx, Disability rights activist

'Chaya' is funded by the Cochin Shipyard. The nine performers are euper excited about the performance. Getting on the stage was not an easy task because they had to look around for accessible venues with wheelchair ramps, especially for their practice sessions.

"Initially, all of us were a little sceptical about how we are going to perform on wheelchairs because there were numerous challenges. But after two months, we are all very confident. We have chosen a socially relevant theme. Hope we can bring out the message to our audience and do it well", says Anjurani Joy, who is among the performers.

Come February, art lovers in Kochi city are in for a treat!

ALSO READ: Kids with autism recreate the much loved Jungle Book in Bengaluru

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