Theatre as a Learning Lab

Theatre as a Learning Lab

 NHRD Bangalore Chapter is an active community for over two decades, creatively bringing people together on a variety of topics with experts from different fields of specialization. 

 After a long time, post COVID face to face event ‘Kabuliwala Calling – Theatre as a Learning Lab with Vijay Padaki’ was indeed a fantastic idea to draw the attention of HR Leaders within Bangalore and outside of Bangalore as well. We as HR Leaders are always excited and open to various approaches of learning and to network with people. This social setting helps us to reflect, process and cascade learnings across different groups of people within and outside the organisation.

Theatre, as most of us know, educates its audience, influences the way one thinks and matches a wide range of learning styles. In my view, there is also collective energy – performers on stage draw energy from audiences and the audience get triggered with insights while watching and listening to the music provided by the background team, it’s indeed ‘Team Spirit’ live in action.

As a Bangalorean, have been to Alliance de franchise many times to watch plays as they encourage talent across different age groups and diverse cultures, this time I was excited to be there to treat myself to an exhilarating experience with the HR fraternity.

The play ‘Kabuliwala’, depicted the culture, mindsets, attitudes and the social issues afflicting the society in Kolkata, the explorations and the historical details of the Kabuliwala community added by Vijay’s team to the context, provided a special essence to this most loved work of Tagore.

I was amazed watching Vijay, his presence on the stage with such intensity and precision, touching the issues that existed in those times with delicacy while maintaining the decorum was soul touching. The incredible performance by the team was admirable as well.

The deep bond between two people from entirely different cultures triggered me to reflect upon the connection and journey that we create in organisations, emphasising the focus on the lifecycle of an employee in an organization, we welcome new hires from different educational backgrounds into the present culture within an organization. We orient and assimilate these new members as family and enhance their experience through a sense of belongingness., it might work well for some may
not for others.

‘Theatre as a Learning Lab’ has been incorporated by few organizations over a period of time, at present given the growth in the industry and influx of people from diverse cultures there’s tremendous opportunity for it to be taken up as a Learning Platform to activate discussions about tacit knowledge that can get enacted in a specific context to spark dynamics and sustain as a experiential learning mechanism.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the NHRD organisers and the team of volunteers, it was fantastic to see the vibrant coordination on social media, emails, follow ups, on the event day multi-tasking providing personal attention to every person that walks in, attending calls and handling payments…thank you team!


Authors bio:

Veena V, Director and Head HR Ephicacy Life Sciences
HR Leader with 18 plus years of experience, collaborating with Business Leaders in the APAC and US to help organizations scale through M&A. Design strategies on Change Management and Digital Transformation. Certified NLP Coach and Certified TA Practitioner. Veena’s Leadership philosophy ‘Conquer yourself to become a better version and treat people with dignity and respect’. Veena volunteers for the cause of children’s health and education to make a difference to society !

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