insAniyat: Theatre of Action

insAniyat: Theatre of Action

Duration: December 26th – December 31st, 2017

Venue: Ritambhara Ashram, Kotagiri, Nilgiris.

Development through dignity and democracy










There are many associations that form in one’s mind when one contemplates the word insAniyat. One would imagine that insAniyat is something natural and inborn, something that is at once innocent and mature, something one ought to expect from another as an everyday reality.


The process of enquiry

To discover our insAniyat we have to peel off three layers of thought feeling and action that cover it up. The first is the way we construct the idea of ourselves, the second is the way we choose the role we play in our relationships and third is the socio-political world we create.
The Barefoot Academy of Governance offers a series of laboratory learning processes to enable one to explore one’s inner world, unlock the authentic core of the self and prepare oneself to act with integrity. This lab is modular and is a part of the whole learning process of the P.G. Diploma in Facilitating Governance Reform.
We see the benefit to people, who would like to learn some aspects of the process and have therefore opened the doors for people not registered in the Diploma program to participate in the modules.

(For more details visit:


The Theatre of Action


Embodied knowledge is the key to spontaneous action that will reflect one’s intent. Theatre and drama have been used from the earliest of times to enable embodied learning. Theatre was one of the most powerful tools used to liberate people. Theatre forms like the “Theatre of the Oppressed”, Augusto Boal’s “Rainbow of Desire” have been deployed in the developmental process with profound impact.

Our bodies hold the primary conditioned patterns while our thoughts reflect it. Therefore, exploring our own patterns of thought, feeling and action through theatre is essential, if we have to break away from our conditioning. Words and content are a very small part of communication. The tone of one’s voice and the variations of body posture comprise a very large percentage of language. This mode can be understood only through enactment and sensitizing of one’s body.

Several of the methods used in theatre to prepare the actor are designed to bring into consciousness our hidden behaviours. We alternate between acting out and reflecting on our actions to create the learning context. Not only do we learn to become sensitive to our own body use and body language, we begin to sense the body language of others.
Theatre also deploys unconscious patterns that can be accessed through playing with our archetypes. The heroes and critical situations described in mythologies are a great treasure house of learning. They capture the psychological and cultural patterns very powerfully.

The Theatre of Action will be based entirely on the “Learning Theatre” modality developed by Raghu Ananthanarayanan. Inner work is harmonized with outer expression to enable a profound transformative journey, a sAdhana.

Theatre of Action will enable the participant: 

  • To internalize the learning about self and systems in an embodied way
  • To create community coherence through the use of culturally relevant participatory processes
  • To develop the capacity for presence and therefore to execute change programs
  • To understand role taking and role shaping and the impact of this on group dynamics
  • To design interventions and programs that use the experiential methodology
  • To design and execute community development programs using theatre and music



Facilitators for the Theatre of Action


Raghu Ananthanarayanan will anchor the process.
Raghu is a post graduate from IIT Madras. He has focused on human behavior. He brings together his Yoga Sadhana and understanding of technological systems to bear on his central quest: how can each of us be the best that we can be? He uses Theatre and Puranas to enable people to realize their deepest aspiration. He is now engaged in creating a Coaching Academy “Awakening Arjuna”.


Anantha Agasthya is a graduate from IIT Madras and a PGDM from IIM Bangalore. He retired as Executive Director from HAL, where he headed the HAL Management Academy for a decade. He was recognized as Corporate Guru in 2014 on Teachers’ day. He has experimented with Learning Theatre in management development. Presently he is the Principal Facilitator ILIFESigmoid ( He is a visiting faculty at IIM Bangalore and Kozhikode.


Laxmi Ganapathy is a full-time stage actor in Tamil and English, with a stint at Koothu-p-Patttarai. He has a B Tech in IT and MBA in Media and Entertainment. He is an accomplished Yoga Trainer and a versatile Theatre faculty. He has a Dan black belt holder in Isshinryu Karate. He has conducted several theatre based workshops at IIM Kozhikode and IIM Indore on “Discovering Self” and at HAL, Beroe, Cholamandal, ILIFESigmoid etc. He has conducted theatre workshops for special children.


Kasturi Goswami has been a full-time actor in Rangapat and Nandikar in West Bengal and with theatre Nisha in Chennai. She has trained children on theatre technique and is a trained Yoga teacher. She has performed in National School of Drama’s Rang Mahotsav.





The Ritambhara Ashram is a small meditation centre situated near Kotagiri in the Nilgiris, nestled in a valley surrounded by shola forests and graced by many beings of the wild. The main purposes of the Ashram is to help foster contemplative conversations, inspire authentic inner work and a reverence for the Earth. It provides a much needed retreat from the hustle-bustle of modern life, and a nurturant context for rest and regeneration. Accommodation is simple and comfortable. Food is vegetarian. For more details please visit our website: