Us Here Now (Hum Yahan Abhi)
Editor (Tech, Sound)
A community-based radio show that brings improv and playback theatre in an audio-only format
Hum Yahan Abhi (or Naavu Illi Eega / Us Here Now) is both the actual process of creation as well as the idea on which this initiative is based. While Digital India is far from being a reality, there are other ways of connecting with people regardless of their access to the internet. Community radio stations have been crucial in ensuring last mile connectivity not just during this pandemic, but even historically. While news, updates, and awareness are essential to survival at the moment, equally so is finding ways of accessing care, joy and connection.
This project brings together young artists to experiment and co-create a program especially for an audio format to be broadcasted on community radio stations. These are responses to the here and now, acknowledging our collective fears and hardships, and the stories that emerge. The first season was created in collaboration with RadioActive 90.4MHz and other artist collectives from the city of Bengaluru, India.
The project was conceptualized by Debosmita Dam who brought me on-board to help with the technical execution (recording, editing and producing) of the seven episodes under the first series. My background in theatrical improvisation as a performer also allowed me to bring a unique perspective to the technical development of the project, wherein I was able to contribute towards specific games and activities that would work well for an audio-only format. What was most interesting was this project was executed completely remotely with team members in 3 different cities during the lockdown period of 2020 and that this was the first time the forms of improv and playback theatre, which are inherently spontaneous and visual in nature, were adapted to an audio recording format and then developed further to create a meaningful listening experience when the episodes were first broadcast on RadioActive 90.4MHz.
Listen To The Project
Cast, Crew and Credits
Conceptualized and directed by Debosmita Dam Audio Drama Segment by Citylamps Playback Theatre
Improv Comedy Segment by Adamant Eves
Editing and Tech by Gaurav Singh Nijjer
Transcription of Radio Active Interviews by Rohit Veeramachaneni
Voice of Assistant by Simrat Kaur
Voice of Sutradhar by Debosmita Dam
Poster designed by Debosmita Dam with inputs from Rabin Jacob, Roopkatha Ray Krishnan
Additional support by Asmita Mishra, Ishita Pohoja, Mehak Aneja, Soumya Sharma