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    Rangashankara presents Squirrel’s Birthday, this weekend

    A SELECTION of stories by Dutch writer Toon Tellegen woven together will form the nar-rative of Squirrel’s Birthday, to be performed by Arundhati Nag along with legendary pup-peteer Margaret Gysin, as part of the Aha! Festival at Rangashankara. Directed by Andrea Gronemeyer, the artistic director of the National Theatre of Manheim, the play tells the tale of the squirrel who uses his own skills and creativity to make invitations out of pieces of bark. He invites all his friends over, right from the little firefly to the big whale in the ocean.

    “When you narrate a story with animals as the subjects, kids can relate much easi-er,” says Nag, who will be working with puppets for the first time. “This tale teaches kids the importance of making things with their own hands, instead of buying stuff from a store,” she adds.

    Keeping it simple
    A solo artiste, this will be Gysin’s first time sharing the stage with someone else. “We’ve been working on this for the past three months, and I have flown to Switzerland thrice, as it was easier for me to go there than the two of them to travel all the way to India,” Nag explains. While puppets are associated with exaggerated features, bright and garish colours, Gysin’s are a lot more subdued and are created to look as natural as possible. The props she employs are proportionate to the puppets. “So you will not see a tiny puppet dwarfed by a giant peacock,” Nag laughs. “This is not about superheroes or extraordinary occurrences. It’s a simple story, telling the child the world is a normal happy place,” she concludes.

    On July 19 and 20. Rs, 200. At JP Nagar. Details: bookmyshow.com

    —Rashmi Rajagopal

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