In November of 2014, Teach For India staged the Broadway-inspired musical Maya to over 10,000 people. Maya, however, was created to be much larger than a spectacular show. It was envisioned to be a symbol of student leadership, and what an excellent education could look like for all children.
The Maya Musical started as a journey of exploring student leadership. 30 children were taken on a life-changing quest of self-discovery where they, like Princess Maya in the story, embarked on a journey of discovering their values and their brightest light. Over 18 months, the Maya children traveled across the country, performed at conferences and public spaces, practiced their values through acts of kindness and worked on a student-led project to spread happiness in 100 ways through the arts.
The Musical was a partnership between Teach For India students and artists on Broadway. The Musical is an original script, with Broadway composed music. Its message of potential to all is clear: Find your light, and spread it to the world. An awareness of Maya was amplified through a Maya Documentary aired on Times Now, radio shows in Pune and Mumbai, and media coverage. The show helped us raise Rs. 9 crore for Teach For India.
After the Musical, we launched Maya 2.0, taking learning from the Maya Musical and spreading it to more children. Today, six of our cities have groups of Maya children experimenting with the Maya practices, each adapting and building on the original Maya journey. Maya 2.0 includes a group of children in Hyderabad who are performing street theatre and a group of Maya Chennai children who are staging their own Maya Production. The original Maya Musical children continue on the next leg of their journey, learning what it means to lead change and spread their light.
Beyond Teach For India, Maya offers free tools for any child to use - an online Maya book, a simplified Maya script, the Find Your Light journey, the Maya documentary and a Maya Cineplay that will release shortly.