Kattaikkuttu Sangam and Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, Tamil Nadu, India

The Kattaikkuttu Sangam is a social mission and performing arts organisation that uses the integration of liberal education and the performing arts to promote and contemporize Kattaikkuttu, a rural theatre form practiced in Southern India, and ensure sustainable careers for its professional performers.
The theatre combines Kattaikkuttu's traditional artistic knowledge and communicative power with sophisticated craftsmanship and perfection in order to address multiple audiences: rural, urban, national and global.
The Kattaikkuttu Sangam is managed by and for professional Kattaikkuttu performers whose core business is the Kattaikkuttu theatre.
 


Objectives

  • Promote Kattaikkuttu as a contemporary theatre in its own right;
  • Build a new generation of young, talented Kattaikkuttu performers (through the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam - the Sangam's residential Youth Theatre School);
  • Create sustainable livelihoods for professional Kattaikkuttu performers;
  • Organize an annual theatre festival;
  • Explore and use Kattaikkuttu's artistic potential in order to create new work.

Beliefs

  • Quality artistic training and education are compelling instruments to break the vicious circle of chronic poverty and social and cultural disempowerment;
  • Professional Kattaikkuttu training and performances should be equally accessible to men and women;
  • Traditional, all-night Kattaikkuttu performances for rural audiences should be nurtured and developed parallel to innovative plays catering to the tastes and needs of urban and international audiences.

The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam or Kattaikkuttu Youth Theatre School was established in 2002 with the objective to train a new generation of Kattaikkuttu performers. The Gurukulam is the first ever residential theatre school where young people can learn Kattaikkuttu theatre without having to give up their formal education. The school enables students to combine comprehensive education with training as a professional Kattaikkuttu actor, actress or musician.
 
The school tackles social disadvantage and the barriers that prevent rural Tamil girls and boys from making theatre their profession. It offers marginalized, vulnerable, young, rural people access to:

 

  • High-quality artistic training in Kattaikkuttu acting, music & make-up.
  • Fully-fledged, inclusive education & care.
  • Professional skills training and sustainable employment after completing 8 years of training and standard 10 or 12, or, for those who do not wish to pursue a career in the performing arts, access to higher education.

Please see their website for more information.