The School
14+ Programme
The Sangam
13 girls get their training at the Kattaikkuttu School. That is modern. Before there were only men in Kattaikkuttu companies. The girls want to become professional actresses or musicians. It is not an easy choice. A father of one of the girls said: "I like it that my daughter is in this school, but I don't know if her future husband will want her to be an actress." Girls are dependent on their fathers, brothers and husbands. And the men are afraid that the reputation of a girl gets spoiled when she becomes an actress and performs on stage. They are worried about what their family members and other people will say. Will it ruin the chances of the girl getting married?

During a parent-students meeting there was a discussion whether the girls could stay on in the school when they menstruate for the first time. In India the rules for girls who have reached puberty are still very strict. Girls are discouraged to move freely and mix with boys. Many of them get married at an early age (16 or 17) to a boy who often is a close relative.

Fortunately, the parents decided together that their daughters could stay on at the School and did not have to be sent home. That is an important step on their way to becoming independent.

The girls want to show the audience that it is possible for women to perform Kattaikkuttu. So they train with the boys and get exactly the same training. Girls do not play only female roles, but also male. And then the boys will sometimes play female roles. That's special in Kattaikkuttu. Gender can be changed to suit your character.