Project Blog Posts:

India 2007 “Muskurahat”

Volunteers: Gulshirin, Andrew, Malin, Stephanie, Cecelia and Helga

Project Overview


Since we decided it wasn’t possible to simply say what it was what we saw, heard and experienced, we are sending a list of our strongest impressions instead.

It seemed to me that at one point in our rehearsal process, we got very bogged down with what we thought a show needed to be – luckily for us, that notion and idea was humbly blasted out of the water, when we realized that the work is not about us looking good and doing a “show” but rather making a connection and creating some laughter/hope with and for these children and adults.

To that end:

  • Starting our first show with 25 crying babies
  • A hundred finger prints on my accordion
  • Being asked how much I was selling my pots and pans props for
  • How many children can hang on one arm?
  • Successful conversion of a reluctant adult to a willing clown
  • Knowing something went right with our first show when we were asked to come back again the same day – 4 hours later for an audience triple the size!
  • Walking down the lane with 150 children and 80 adults, all following with curiosity, laughter and handshakes – lots, lots of handshakes


  • Handshakes, handshakes, handshakes
  • Everyone wants to be touched and seen – insane photo takers!!
  • Proud and tentative introductions in English
  • Juggler kid whose abilities quickly exceeded our own
  • “Take a bow” done after the show was over
  • Lots of smiles
  • Curious and willing girls who come up to be a part of the show
  • Malin posing for a supposed “Times of India” picture, taken on a cell phone…
  • Construction sites – no addresses and a million directions on how to get there
  • Entering the area – landmarks for the sites are large new buildings or a shiny out of place IMAX theater surrounded by slums.
  • The world’s alleged “largest” IMAX theater is in the same city as Asia’s largest slum!
  • Sharing the bill with: Local school kids doing a puppet show and a dance/theater piece about education
  • Meeting an adoring public – exhausted and drenched in sweat!
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