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Not the Drama Seminar

Not the Drama Seminar

Organised 50 years after the original Drama Seminar in 1957, the Not the Drama Seminar (NTDS) brought together theatre practitioners from all across the country. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 March 2008
At Ninasam, Heggodu

This seminar meditated on the nature of theatre in India today, on how we got to where we are. The attempt was to understand 'Indian Theatre' in all its multiplicity and diversity, bringing these several faces of Indian theatre face to face, and problemetize the issues that arise therein. These ideas were exchanged through a series of presentations and discussions over five days, and each day ended with a performance.

Welcome to Not the Drama Seminar
  •    Welcome Address by Sanjna Kapoor
  •    Keynote Address by Akshara KV
Performance: Ninasam's Krama Vikrama

Ninasam’s KRAMA VIKRAMA (Kannada) A translation of Shakespeare’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE Kannada translation: Akshara KV, Director: Akshara KV 2 hrs 20 mins

The Fierce Urgency of Now
  •    Talk by Aijaz Ahmed
Locales or Mapping Indian Theatre

How do we make sense of the bewildering variety that Indian theatre displays? Where does theatre happen? Or, more critically, where does theatre matter? In what kinds of locales, in other words, does theatre making, and theatre going, become a need, a habit? What are the dynamics of different kinds of theatre in India? What role has amateur theatre played? What is the state of the commercial theatres? Do we have any professional theatre outside of the commercial? If not, why not? This session, apart from looking at the macro situation, also hopes to look at theatre in particular settings. One of these is theatre in Manipur. What is the context of Manipuri theatre? How have locational and political marginalities shaped this theatre? What has sustained this theatre? What problems does it face today? Where does it go in the future?

  •    Presentation by Samik Bandhopadhyay
  •    Presentation by Shanta Gokhale
  •    Response by Koushik Sen
  •    Response by Sanjay Upadhyay
  •    Response by Channakeshava
Experiments

Sometimes, we have a strange idea of the 'experimental' -- anything that is serious, amateur, and outside of the commercial framework gets called 'experimental'. But what does 'experiment' mean in theatre? Can we begin to identify markers or landmarks in our theatre which we can genuinely call 'experimental'? Is such an enterprise possible, or even desirable? Do we need laboratories for theatre? What has been the experience of the laboratories that were set up? When does an experiment fructify enough to be shared with an audience? Should experiments be at all shared with an audience? What is a performer's perspective? Does s/he look at her/his work in terms of experimentation? How do new forms come into being? What is, or should be, the role of technology in all this? Do we have too little technology in our theatre -- or too much? What can training institutions do in this area? What should funding agencies do? What kinds of experiments is it useful to support? What is the current state of experimental theatre? Does such a creature really exist?

  •    Introduction to S Ramanujan and Sadanand Menon by Keval Arora
  •    Presentation by S.Ramanujam
  •    Presentation by Sadanand Menon
  •    Response by Ekbal Ahmed
  •    Response by Amitesh Grover
Performance: Kalai Foundation's 'Mazhai'

Kalai Foundation’s MAZHAI (Tamil/English) Writer & Director: Kalairani 40 mins (no interval)

Performance: Samanvay’s Woh Aage Nikal Gaye

Samanvay’s WOH AGEY NIKAL GAYE (Hindi) Playwright & Director: Makarand Sathe 70 mins (no interval)

Presentation on India Theatre Forum Website
  •    Presentation on India Theatre Forum Website by Sameera Iyengar & Sudhanva Deshpande
Assertions

All around us, in our society, in our politics, we are witness to new assertions -- along lines of identity, community, language, ethnicity, gender, etc. In a word, these new assertions -- which may not even be very new, actually -- get articulated on the axis of culture. How do we make sense of these assertions? What are their histories? Has our theatre reflected these assertions? Rather, which assertions has our theatre reflected, and which not? What is identity politics? What does it mean for our theatre? Is it the case that our theatre, mainstream urban theatre at any rate, continues to be mainly an upper caste, male domain?

  •    Presentation by Gopal Guru
  •    Presentation by Pralayan
  •    Responses to Gopal and Pralayan
  •    Response by Devi
  •    Response by Dakxin Bajarange
  •    Response by Sushama Deshpande
  •    Responses by Chandradasan
  •    Assertions - Responses and Discussions
Performance: Swapnasandhani’s Suprabhat

Swapnasandhani’s SUPRABHAT (Bengali) (A translation of Franca Rame’s WAKING UP) Translation: Jaya Mitra, Director: Koushik Sen 45 mins (no interval)

Performance: Vismayah’s ‘Not the Theatre Show' Show

Vismayah’s ‘NOT THE THEATRE SHOW’ SHOW (English etc etc) Director: Maya Rao Approx 1 hr

Inequalities
  •    Talk by P. Sainath
Pathologies

Violences of various kinds are routinely unleashed around us. Communal violence, caste violence, violence of the rich against the poor, and so on. What are our social pathologies? How do we understand them? How do we counter them? Does our theatre reflect these pathologies? Which sorts of violences and pathologies has our theatre paid attention to, and which not?

  •    Erasure, Displacement, Obsolescence: The Socio-Drama of the Eventless Event by Shiv Visvanathan
  •    Violence, Social Pathology, and Theatre by Makarand Sathe
  •    Response by Sundar Sarukkai
  •    Response by S. Raghunandana
  •    Response by Moloyashree Hashmi
  •    Discussion and Responses to Sundar, Raghunandana and Moloyashree
  •    Pathologies - Concluding comments and discussions
New Realities

What gets called 'globalisation' is rapidly changing the world we live in. But what is 'globalisation'? What, in other words, is getting globalised, and what is not? What does ‘creative industries’ mean? What about the fast changing technology of today’s world? What do these processes mean for our theatre?

  •    Presentation by Prabir Purokayastha
  •    Presentation by Akshara KV
  •    Response by Vivek Shanbag
  •    Discussions and Responses to Prabir, Akshara and Vivek
  •    Response by Sanjoy Ganguly
  •    Response by Vikram Iyengar
Performance: aRanya's 'Aisa Kehte Hain'

aRanya’s AISA KEHTE HAIN (Hindi) Writer & Director: Manav Kaul 1 hr 45 mins

Criticism, Critique, and Translation
  •    Talk by Aparna Dharwadker
Institutions and Training

This is a session that seeks to explore the complicated terrain of institutions and training. We want to look at training institutions, but not simply those. We want to look at cultural institutions as a whole -- the akademies, the schools of drama, the private theatre institutions, as well as funding agencies. One often hears the cliché that Indians are not institution-builders, that we cannot sustain institutions over time. How do we look at theatre institutions -- or, more generally, cultural institutions -- which we have in India? State institutions were formed in the aftermath of independence. Was the vision that led to their formation inherently flawed? Did our cultural institutions take forward the best traditions of our independence movement? What have been their successes, measured not in terms of grand showpiece events, but in terms of aiding processes that keep theatre alive and vibrant? And what have been their failures? Are state institutions doomed to failure by virtue of being state institutions? Does the state have any role at all in the realm of culture? If so, what? What about private institutions? Which private institutions have been vibrant and have had an impact on the larger field of theatre practice in their city/region? Are private institutions inherently superior to public institutions? What role have funding agencies played? What kind of institutions do we envisage for tomorrow?

  •    Presentation by Sanjna Kapoor
  •    Response by Anmol Vellani
  •    Presentation by Shyamala Vanarase
  •    Response by Samik Bandhopadhyay
Round Up

The concluding addresses delivered by G.P. Deshpande and Ram Bapat. These will be in the nature of going over the themes of the previous four days, reflecting, connecting, provoking. These will be unscripted performances, mainly improvisatory in nature.

  •    Round Up by GP Deshpande, Ram Bapat
Performance: Actors’ Ensemble’s 'Creeper'

Actors’ Ensemble’s CREEPER (English) Writer & Director: Ram Ganesh Kamatham 1 hr 10 mins (no interval)

Aijaz Ahmad Writer/Professor

Aijaz Ahmad is Senior Editorial Consultant at Frontline magazine, Chennai. He has been Visiting Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia as well as Professorial Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. He has published widely on issue of politics and culture. Currently, he is also working as Senior News Analyst with a developing web-based news outlet in video format, The Real News (www.therealnews.com).

Akshara KV | Writer/Director/Administration – Ninasam, Heggodu

Akshara KV works at Ninasam, theatre and cultural group at Heggodu, Karnataka. He has undergone training in theatre at the NSD and the Workshop Theatre, University of Leeds, UK. Has directed several productions in Kannada and has written 3 plays apart from several adaptations and books on theatre and culture. He also heads, Akshara Prakashana, a publication in Karnataka.

Amitesh Grover Multimedia Performer/Director/Designer

Amitesh Grover has created 16 Live Art pieces which have taken a total of 70 shows. His interventions range from multimedia creativity (fluxing live with recorded arts), site-specific work, designing & directing for proscenium theatre to evolving pedagogy for Advanced Performance. His work has been shown in Delhi, London, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune & Bangalore. He continues to contribute to contemporary theatre discourse through workshops, talks and articles. His recent works include Hand Over Fist (live & multimedia, NSD, Delhi), Memorable Equinox (on-site, digital & live, British Council, Delhi) and I Hate My Body (video installation & performance, WCA, London). NSD alumnus and a Charles Wallace scholar (2005), he completed his research degree from University of Arts, London, UK in 2006. His show Electronic City (staged in collaboration with Max Mueller Bhavan in Sep.07) was invited to 10th National Theatre Festival, India held in Jan 2008. At present, he is a visiting faculty member for Modernism & Visual Culture at NSD and a freelance artist. He is leaving for a 6 months Artist-in-Residency at Rote Fabrik in Zurich, Switzerland this year.

Anmol Vellani Executive Director/Theatre Director – India Foundation for the Arts

Anmol Vellani leads the India Foundation for the Arts. He has served in an advisory capacity for a number of Indian and international organizations and networks working in the arts, education and philanthropy. Anmol has written papers on a range of subjects, including the arts and religion, corporate patronage, arts entrepreneurship, intercultural dialogue and performance translation. He has served as faculty for training workshops in grant making and used theatre methods to conduct creativity workshops in management programmes. He has directed over thirty plays and is presently working on a version of Georg Büchner's 'Woyzeck'.

Anupam Barve Director/Applied Drama Practioner – Temporary and Contemporary Theatre / Samanvay / Aasakta

Anupam Barve completed her formal training in theatre from Lalit Kala Kendra, University of Pune under the guidance of Satish Alekar. He has acted in many play productions of noted directors and his directorial venture 46 Chromosomes… 1 Cell was has been much acclaimed. He has also directed Mahapur written by Satish Alekar. Also worked as music arranger, production coordinator, publicity designer for a number of play productions. Recently he has undergone advanced actors’ training at Chorus Repertory in Manipur under the guidance of Ratan Tiyyam. The Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India awarded Scholarship in the field of theatre for his study on Theatre Games and Improvisation in Theatre in 2007.

Aparna Dharwadker Associate Professor/Writer

Aparna Dharwadker (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1990) Professor Dharwadker joined the University of Wisconsin faculty in Fall 2001, and is currently Associate Professor in the Departments of Theatre and Drama and English. Her principal research and teaching interests are in Restoration and eighteenth-century British theatre, comparative modern drama and theatre theory, and postcolonial studies. In 2006, she received the Joe A. Callaway Prize for her recent study, Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India Since 1947 (judged the best book on drama or theatre published in 2004-05), and the H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship from the UW Graduate School and Alumni Research Foundation for exceptional scholarship in the Humanities. Professor Dharwadker's essays and articles have also appeared in a range of journals and collections Professor Dharwadker has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Folger Library, and the Newberry Library, among others. She has also lectured at institutions in the U.S. and abroad, including the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, the University of Georgia, Texas A&M University, Delhi University, and the Indian Institute of Technology. Her current project is an edited collection of modern Indian theatre theory and criticism, titled A Poetics of Modernity: Theories of Drama, Theatre, and performance in India, 1860-2005, and scheduled for completion in 2007-08.

Arjun Ghosh Critic – Jana Natya Manch, Delhi

Arjun Ghosh has been awarded a Doctorate in 2007 by the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi for his thesis on the Jana Natya Manch. He has also written in various Indian and international journals on issues related to politics and theatre and participated in seminars and conferences as well.

Arundhati Nag Actor/Administration – Ranga Shankara

Arundhati Nag is an actress with a career of 35 years on stage and screen. She is the Creative Director of Ranga Shankara, Bangalore.

Ashish Mehta | Administration – Aasakta Kalamanch, Pune

Ashish Mehta, Project Coordinator - SMART India, a Mechanical Engineering graduate, is an actor & technical director with Pune based contemporary theatre organisation - Aasakta Kalamancha. With Aasakta Ashish has been involved in producing 25 theatre productions which have been performed across Maharashtra and all major festivals in India. Ashish was an ARThinkSouthAsia (ATSA) Fellow for the year 2012-13. He has been involved in the management of Prithvi Theatre Festival 2008 and the India tour of Complicite's 'A Disappearing Number' brought to India by Prithvi Theatre in 2010. He is also the festival manager of Vinod Doshi Memorial Theatre Festival since its inception in 2009. Ashish has also been awarded the Sahitya Rangabhoomi Pratishthan's Vinod Doshi Fellowship in 2011. Ashish along with Choiti Ghosh, used to manage the India Theatre Forum office until March 2014.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha Centre for the Study of Culture and Society

Ashish Rajadhyaksha is an active member of the editorial collective of the Journal of Arts and Ideas and a regular contributor to Framework and Sight & Sound. Senior Research Fellowship from the Indian Council of Social Science Research (1989-91). He has published widely on cinema and contemporary art, and presented papers on these topics in conferences across the world. Also he has taught film studies at the University of Iowa, The Korean National University of Arts, Seoul, Birkbeck College/British Film Institute, Jadavpur University, University of Bombay, and the National Film Archive of India/Film and Television Institute of India. Author of Ritwik Ghatak: A Return to the Epic (Screen Unit, 1982); editor, with Paul Willemen, Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (British Film Institute and OUP, 1994); editor, The Sad and Glad of Kishore Kumar (Research Centre for Cinema Studies, 1988); editor, with Amrit Gangar, Ghatak : Arguments/Stories (Screen Unit/Research Centre for Cinema Studies, 1987); editor, with Marco Muller, L'Avventurose Storie del Cinema Indiano (2 vols., in Italian) (Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema, 1985); editor, with Rani Burra, Looking Back, 1896-1960 (Directorate of Film Festivals/Film India Retrospective of Indian Cinema, 1981). Currently coordinating the Media Archive of CSCS, and working on a collection of essays titled Who's Looking?. Co-curator (with Geeta Kapur) of the exhibition Bombay/Mumbai 1992-2001, part of Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Tate Modern, London, 2001.

Ashok Tiwari Actor – Jana Natya Manch

Ashok Tiwari is an actor with Jana Natya Manch in Delhi and has been associating with it for the past 17 years

Ashutosh Potdar Playwright/Director/Administration – IFA

Ashutosh Potdar did active theatre from Ichalkaranji and Kolhapur in Maharashtra. He adapted Dario Fo, Jean Genet and the groups performed the plays at different places in Maharashtra. He wrote few street plays and directed them for performing at small places in colleges in district of Kolhapur. Also, he wrote few one act plays and two full length plays. Apart from this, as an activist, he worked to organize theatre performances. Also he taught at Lalit Kala Kendra, University of Pune.

Balasaravanan T Light Designer – Magic Lantern/School of Drama, Thrissur

Balasaravanan T teaches at school of Drama, Thrissur, University of Calicut, Kerala. He is closely associated with Magic Lantern, Chennai. He is an experienced light designer and has directed a number of play productions.

Bandhu Prasad Administration – Abhinaya Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram

Bandhu Prasad has been with Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, Thriuvananthapuram, taking care of its administrative aspects since 2001. Also works as freelance media relations manager and content developer for print/web publicity. He is closely associating with Kerala State Chalachitra Academy for its film festival events. Recently floated an informal group that offers organizational support to artists and performers.

Chandradasan Theatre Director/Actor/Writer – Lokadharmi

Chandradasan is the Founder Director of Lokadharmi, one of the important theatre centre of the country and Mazhavillu the children’s theatre wing of Lokadharmi. He is a theatre director, actor and writer. He has worked in collaboration with eminent theatre activists from all over the world in workshops and productions. He is also the resource person for theatre in many institutions and universities. He is continuously working in theatre by designing and directing plays, acting, writing about plays and translating, organizing workshops and training actors etc. He and Lokadharmi dream the emergence of a village theatre culture with immense energy rooted in Indian ethos and tradition and depicting Indian realities.

Channakeshava Director/Designer – Deshakaala

Channakeshava works as the designer with the Kannada journal Deshakaala, in Bangalore and has undergone training in visual arts at Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore, and in theatre at the Ninasam Theatre Institute. Has directed several productions in Kannada and also does freelancing designing work

Civic Chandran Writer/Organiser – Sunday Theatre

Civic Chandran, active in the theatre scene of the seventies in Kerala, played leadership role in the evolution of the third theatre movement in Kerala. He wrote the first street play in Malayalam language. Ningalare Communistaki, a counter play based on the famous KPAC play created much debate, and a case related to it is still pending in the Supreme Court. He leads the Surasu Memorial Theater festival in Kerala for the last 4 years.

Dakxinkumar Nandlal Bajrange Playwright/Director/Actor/Filmmaker – Budhan Theatre

Dakxinkumar Nandlal Bajrange is a graduate from Gujrat University in Psychology. He is an award winning film maker whose works dealt with development and social issues. He is the founder member of Budhan Theatre, a group that works amongst h Chhara community. He has written, directed and acted many play productions including Budhan which was translated into many languages and performed world wide. He is a faculty at National Tribal Academy, Tejgadh, Gujarat and a fellow at Bhasha Research and Publication Centre in Baroda. He represented Nomadic and De notified Tribes (DNTs) of India at United Nations in 2007 and various universities of USA including Georgetown, Princeton and Maryland Universities. Currently working on Mrichkattikam play with Budhan Theatre group.

Damayanti Naregal Kannada Writer

Damayanti Naregal is a well known Kannada writer who has two novels and three short story collections to her credit. She has also published three one act plays in Sankalan and Dharwar. Her unpublished plays Devaru iladdaGode fetched her the B V Karanth Rang Pratishtana Award in 2006 and another unpublished play received Suchitra Kala Kendra Award in 2006. Currently working on a biography of Gangubhai Hangal.

Deepa Ganesh Writer/Journalist – The Hindu, Bangalore

Deepa Ganesh actively involved in Kannada amateur theatre. She regularly writes on theatre. She is a journalist with The Hindu, Bangalore.

Deepthy Chandrasekhar Director/Administration – Bangalore Little Theatre

Deepthy Chandrasekhar works closely with Bangalore Little Theatre, one of Bangalore’s oldest theatre groups. She has acted and worked backstage for many play productions. She focuses on Children’s Theatre.

Devi Administration – Praja Natya Mandali

Devi is President, Praja Natya Mandali, Andhra Pradesh. Praja Natya Mandali is the largest people’s cultural organization of Andhra Pradesh, with 1180 teams and 25,000 members across the entire state. The teams do street theatre, proscenium plays, folk forums (like dappu, kolattam, bhajans, tappetagullo, oggukatha, etc). A large majority of the teams are rural. More than 70% of the membership of Praja Natya Mandali is composed of dalits and tribals. Praja Natya Mandali organises many theatre festivals through the year.

Devika Actor – Magic Lantern, Chennai

Devika is an actor with Magic Lantern, a theatre group based in Chennai. She has acted in many play production of the group over several years.

Dr Shripad Bhat Director – Samudaya/Chintana Ranga Adhyayana Kendra

Dr Shripad Bhat is from Honnavar and is working as a High school Teacher.He has reached 'Uttara kannada Ranga Bhoomi' in Karnataka University Daravada. .His work focuses on implementing folk, Yakshagana elements in Modern plays. He has conducted theatre workshops in many places in Karnataka .He is one of the leading directors of the repertory group ‘Chintana’. .He has directed more than 60 play production ranging from proscenium plays, children’s plays and street plays. He was awarded Sikshana Sri for his contributions in the field of education and theatre.

Dr. Ajay Joshi Practicing Dentist/Theatre Journalist/Researcher/Translator

Dr. Ajay Joshi has been writing on theatre in many Marathi dailies and English dailies. Worked as the core team member of many national theatre festivals held in Maharashtra. He has translated many Marathi plays into English and plays a key role in the networking initiative of Marathi theatre. He also holds a Phd on Role and Contribution of Theatre Critic in Marathi Theatre.

Dr. H V Venugopal Prof. & Head of the Department of Sanskrit

Dr. H V Venugopal is the Professor and Head of the Dept. of Sankrit, National Degree College, Autonomous, Basavanagudi, Bangalore.

Dr.Veena Naregal Cultural Historian

Dr. Veena Naregal is a cultural historian. Her recent articles and research papers include Performance, Caste, Aesthetics : the Marathi Sangeet Natak Era and the Regulation of Theatre Discourse and Cultural Arenas 1880-1920, Eds. Nandini Sundar and Satish Deshpande, solicited for festschrift, forthcoming. Lavani, Tamasha, Loknatya and the Vicissitudes of Patronage, Eds. Kotani et al, Culture and Political Patronage in Western India, Manohar Publications, Delhi 2007. Provincial Elites, Urban Intellectuals and a New Marathi Theatre (1840-1875), in special issue, Hanne De Bruin ed., Seagull Theatre Quarterly, Calcutta, December 2001. Her recent initiatives are international conference on Reviewing Disciplinary Agendas in Theatre Studies: Cultural Arenas, Policies, Institutions, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, January 23-25, 2008 and Discussion sessions on Cultural Policy and Democratisation at Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, April

Ekbal Ahamad Theatre Director

Ekbal Ahamed has been working in Children’s Theatre in Karnataka and closely works with Ninasam. He also runs a craft shop in Bangalore. He recently started a children’s repertory group played by the adults, which is first of its kind in India.

G P Deshpande Playwright/Writer/Professor

Andreas Luebbers (b. 1961), after finishing studies of german literature and history of arts, began working in theatre as a dramaturg. He worked at the german puplic theatres of Hamburg (Thalia Theater and Deutsches Schauspielhaus), Berlin (Berliner Ensemble), Heilbronn, Bremerhaven, Hannover and Bad Gandersheim. After 10 years as an employee, Andreas opened his own (off-)theatre in Hamburg: The Hamburger Sprechwerk, a 150-seater with a 180 sq. m. stage. Since September 2004, the theatre has been playing continously with a programme which includes, in the main, freelancing contemporary dancers, speechtheatre-ensembles and some musictheatre-pieces.

George Jose Asia Society

George is an independent social science researcher and adjunct faculty in a range of educational institutions. He taught sociology for several years (1994-99) before working as a Programme Officer with India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), Bengaluru (1999-2005). And until last year George was the Programme Director of Asia Society India Centre (2006-2011). He has acted in student films, and theatre productions including Harold Pinter’s 'Dwarfs', 'Landscape' and 'Silence', and Peter Shaffer’s 'The Royal Hunt of the Sun'. George was a member of the core organising team for the Prithvi International Theatre Festival, Bombay, in 1989.

Gopal Guru Professor of Social Sciences – Centre for Political Studies, JNU

Gopal Guru teach course on Social Justice and Modern Indian Political Thought and Politcs at the Centre for Political Studies, JNU. His research and Publication are in the field of Indian Politics, Cultural Politics, and History of Ideas. Currently he has been working on the theory of Humiliation and its opposite-Self-Respect. He has published mainly in EPW, and contributed chapters in several books edited by scholars in India and abroad.

Hareesh P Playwright – Praja Natya Mandali

Hareesh P, a post graduate in Sociology is a playwright. He works with the Praja Natya Mandali in Andhra Pradesh. He is also a training coordinator with UNICEF.

Indira Chandrashekar Publisher – Tulika Books, Delhi

Indira Chandrasekhar is a publisher working with Tulika Books

Jay Rao Director/Actor/Organiser – Theatre Lab, Chennai

Jay Rao has worked with Koothu p Pattarai, Chennai for fifteen years. He works in the capacities of director/actor/organizer with Theatre Lab.

Jehan Manekshaw Director/Producer/Designer – Theatre Professionals, Mumbai

Jehan Manekshaw has been working and training in Theatre in multiple capacities for well over 10 years. He has received professional Training in every aspect of creating a Theatrical work in this time, be it acting, directing, design, scripting, or producing. He completed his BA with High Honors from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA. After a year of working in Theatre in New York, Jehan returned to India to work in Theatre, Television and Film and worked under Zarina Mehta at UTV, Quasar Thakore Padamsee, and Nagesh Kukunoor. He then returned to the UK to complete his further education. He received a Masters in Media and ommunications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He then completed his Masters of Fine Arts from Birkbeck, University of London in Theatre Directing and Theatre Producing, the only course of its kind in the world. After which he started to produce Theatre Productions in London that recieved 4 and 5 star reviews in some of London's most influential theatre review papers and magazines.

Joyoti Roy | Actor – Jana Natya Manch / ANANT

Joyoti Roy started her tryst with theatre through the children’s workshops conducted by Sahitya Kala Parishad. Since 1999 she has been working as an actor and administrator with ANANT (An association for Nascent Art and Natural Thetare), a Delhi based group. Later, 2001 onwards she started to act in plays of Jana Natya Manch also. She has conducted many workshops for children and workshops on voice training. By profession she is an art conservator with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Recently she worked on the design and care management of Jana Natya Manch’s archival, audio visual and play materials.

K Kasi Actor/Theru-k-koothu artiste/Organizer

K Kasi alias Kannappa Kasi Thambiran is a fifth generation Theru-k-koothu artiste. He has been performing for nearly 30 years now in his father’s troupe Purisai Duraisamy Kannappa Thambiran Paramparai Theru-k-koothu Mandram, in the most important and demanding role as Kattiyakaran. He has performed all over the India. He has accompanied his troupe at the festival of India performances in France and Sweden. He has also performed in Singapore and Colombia. The important cultural festival he has performed includes SAARC festival, Madras Festival organized by South Zone Cultural Centre (1984), Interstate Cultural Exchange Programme in U.P. He has trained students in Koothu at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, students at Central University, Pondicherry. Kasi is also actively interacting with contemporary theatre in Tamil. He has participating in many plays of Koothu-p-pattarai and workshops conducted by internationally well know theatre directors like Peter Brook, John Martin, Inga Mayer, Prof.S.Ramanujam, Anmol Vellani and N.Muthuswamy.

K R Omkar Director/Designer

K R Omkar is formally trained in theatre from Ninasam Theatre Institute and National School of Drama, New Delhi. He is specialized in design and direction from NSD. After his studies at NSD, he has directed a number of plays for various groups in country like Ninasam, Nirbok Abhinoy Academy, Bengal, Samudaya, Bangalore etc. Some of his noteworthy plays are Malgudu Huli based on R K Narayan’s Tiger for Malgudi. He has recently done a scene work for Ninasam based on the Cherry Orchards.

Kalairani Actor/Director/Writer – Kalai Foundation

Kalairani is an actress with a prodigious amount of talent and a special gift for both comic and serious roles. She has exploited this with panache in live theatre performances with the avant-garde theatre group Koothu-p-pattarai. Her forays into popular cinema have been equally successful. Kalairani's solo works, reflecting the artist's own concerns, have been performed at various stages. Kalairani has worked extensively with children through various workshops imparting to them the innovativeness and spontanaiety that she is known for. She has also conducted workshops for management professionals, educationalists, women's groups, political activists, folk artists, musicians and dancers. Kalairani has had the good fortune of undergoing workshops from some of the finest theatre practitioners from around the world and she brings all this experience into her professional work. Kalairani has also taken part in the UCLA's (University of California at Los Angeles) APPEX program, interacting academically with other theatre professionals.

Keremane Shivananda Hegde Actor, Director, Organiser – Idagunji Mahaganapathi Yakshagana Mandali

Keremane Shivananda Hegde has Yakshagana in his blood from his ancestors. The constant guidance of his highly impressive grand father and father molded his elegant career. He learnt Kathak and many folk dances of India. He toured all over India and abrode i.e.USA,UK,China,South East Asian Countries,Nepal,Spain,France etc.He participated in APPEX Workshop organized by the University of California, Los Angeles, USA in 1996. A lively, eminent member of the troupe he holds the position of secretary of Mandali and Yakshagana School.Indian junior Chamber has awarded Shivananda Hegde as an outstanding young person. He received Govt. of India scholarship of Young workers in different cultural fields (Yakshagana) in 1990 - 93. And in the year 2000-2 he received junior fellowship from Government of India for higher studies of traditional Yakshagana (A practical study of Uttara Kannada Style of Yakshagana with special emphasis on Nritya and Abhinaya)

Keval Arora Teacher of Drama/Critic – Kirorimal College, Delhi

Keval Arora teaches drama at the Dept. of English in Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. He does theatre in the extra curricular space with the college students. He is also a freelance theatre critic.

Kiran Bhat Director/Designer – Samudaya / Chintana Ranga Adhyayana Kendra

Kiran Bhat works with Samudaya, Karnataka and chintana Ranga Adhyayana Kendra as a director and designer. He has directed many children’s play such as Iggappa Hegade Vivaha, Prahasana, Sultan Tippu, Patha Nataka. He attended a national level workshop on children’s theatre led by Swedish Theatre experts. He has also participated and done presentations a national and international seminars.

Komita Dhanda Actor/Film maker – Jana Natya Manch

Komita has been working with Jana Natya Manch since 2004 as actor, director and writer. She is a trained film maker from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia. Currently, she teaches Development Journalism and Media Production at Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi.

Koushik Sen Theatre Director/Actor – Swapnasandhini, Kolkata

Koushik Sen, born in 1968, the director of Swapnasandhani has directed all major plays of the group. A renowned television, film and theatre actor in his own right, Koushik has led the group right from the outset in 1992. He has twice been adjudged the Best Actor by the Paschim Banga Natya Akademi and has received the Best Supporting Actor Award from the BFJA for his performance in Mrinal Sen’s Amar Bhuban. Koushik has very recently directed the play Ru-ba-Ru (inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s celebrated film Persona) for the National School of Drama Repertory. In his career as a theatre director, Koushik has experimented with a variety of subjects and has explored different theatrical genres through his productions. He has staged works of greats like Chekov, Brecht and Tagore. He has also worked with contemporary creations of Selim Al-Deen and Bratya Basu. He has staged a fairy tale by Jaya Mitra and has staged the translated version of a short story by the celebrated French writer Vercor. He has directed adapted versions of a Satyajit Ray short story and Jibanananda Das novel for the Bengali stage. He carved a niche for himself when he first staged the play Pratham Partha, a complex verse-drama by Buddhadeb Bose in the year 1997.

Krishna Devanandan Actor/Dancer – Magic Lantern, Chennai

Krishna Devanandan is a performer who has been working with Magic Lantern for several years as an actor. She has also worked with Padmini Chettoor Dance Company. She works with the body in imaginative ways and has conducted workshops based on dance, yoga and martial arts for young people and aspiring actors

Leela Samson Dancer/Teacher/Administration – Kalakshetra

Leela Samson trained in Kalakshetra from an early age and was deeply influenced by its founder - Rukmini Devi Arundale. Her career of dancing and teaching were spent in Delhi from 1975- 2005, where she trained the young, danced at leading festivals all over India, formed a company called Spanda for alternate expression in Bharata natyam and wrote regularly on dance. In the summer of 2005 she was invited to head her alma mater where she has served for 3 years. Leela is a recepient of several awards in icluding the Padma Sri and two short films have centered around her - Sanchari by Arun Khopkar and The Flowering Tree by Ein Lall.

Loitongbam Dorendra Theatre Director – Imphal Theatre

Loitongbam Dorendra hails from Imphal and started performing at a very young age. He got guidance from pioneer theatre practioners like H Nilamani, N Tombi and many more. He participated in the 3 month intensive workshop of NSD held at New Delhi in 1980. He then joined the Chorus Repertory Theatre and worked under the guidance of Ratan Tiyyam for more than 10 years. He participated in many national and international theatre festivals as an actor with the group. He also participated in the workshops led by John Martin, Pravir Guha and Sue Weston. He has conducted North East Theatre Workshop in 1996 and served as the member of various academies and expert committees. Many of his plays were presented at different prestigious theatre festivals across the country.

Lynne Henry Educator/Organizer

Lynne Henry works with Vikalp, an organization that promotes good films. Lynne is an organizer and educator.

Madhuri M Dixit Lecturer in English/Theatre Critic

Madhuri M Dixit is a lecturer in English at undergraduate level. She recently came up with a paper titled Sudarshan Rangmanch: Shaping Creativity through Economic Compulsions. This paper was presented at 13th Annual Cultural Studies Workshop organized by CSSS, Kolkata in Pune

Mahesh Writer/Administration – Praja Natya Mandali

Mahesh is a state committee member of Praja Natya Mandali and writes songs for the plays. He is also the manager of the magazine of Praja Natya Mandali.

Makarand Sathe Playwright/Writer – Samanvay, Pune

Makarand Sathe has been writing plays, novels and serious articles for last two decades. His has writren plays like ‘ Charshe Koti Visarbhole’, ‘Roman Samrajyachi Padzad’, ’ Thombya’, ‘ Surya Pahilela Manus’, ‘ Sapatnekarache mool’, ‘Chowk’ etc. and novels like ‘Achyut Athawale Ani Athawan’, ‘Operation Yamu’ in Marathi. His writing expresses his wide range of concerns, from the socio-political scenario of today, to the philosophical aspects of time and space, from human existence and ethics, to the impact of science and technology on the post-modern society and the absurdity in the modern urban life. Many of his plays have been translated into English, Hindi, Kannada, Urdu etc. His plays and novels have received many prestigious awards. He has written feature film scripts and directed a few documentaries. He has been associated with the Dept. of Performing Arts ( Lalit Kala Kendra), University of Pune, as visiting faculty for 3 years, from 1996 to 2000, for postgraduate (Drama) students. After practicing as an Architect and designer for more than twenty years Makarand Sathe is now a full time writer. He lives in Pune with his economist wife and their daughter.

Maloy Mitra Director/Film maker – Sukchar Pancham Repertory

Maloy Mitra is a filmmaker and has worked with major Television channels in the country. He has worked with eminent film makers like Rituparno Ghosh. He contributes to leading dailies Anandabazar Patrika, Aajkal etc. on film, theatre and television. He had the opportunity to attend theatre workshops with renowned theatre personalities like Peter Brook, Barbara Mundell, Niranjan Goswami and Shambhu Bhattacharya and also worked with Rudraprasad sen Gupta and Probir Guha. He also works as theatre instructor for under privileged and marginalized sections of the society.

Manav Kaul Writer/Director/Actor – aRANYA

Manav Kaul is a young writer-director with aRANYA theatre, Mumbai. He has written plays like ‘Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane’, ‘Peele ScooterWala Aadmi’, ‘Bali Aur Shambhu’, ‘Ilhaam’, ‘Aisa Kehte Hain’, ‘Park’. His plays have been translated in other languages like English, Marathi, Bengali and are being performed in various parts of the country. He recently directed 2 plays for Rangshankara, Bangalore, one of which was in Kannada. He is currently rehearsing for his new play called ‘Red Sparrow’.

Maya Krishna Rao Performer, Director – Vismayah

Maya Krishna Rao lends a new dimension to contemporary Indian theatre – both on and off stage. She creates, performs and directs her own shows. These have been received with critical acclaim and been at prestigious festivals at home and abroad. She engages school children and teachers in the use of drama as a teaching device in the class room. She is one of the few Indian women who do stand up comedy in India. In recent years, her multi-media works have been noted for taking urban performance in a new direction. Maya is also member, visiting faculty, National School of Drama, Delhi, where she teaches Acting.

Mohit Takalkar Director – Aasakta Kalamanch, Pune

Mohit Takalkar has been active on the Marathi experimental theatre front for the past 8 years. He is the founder of Aasakta Kala Manch in Pune. He has directed 10 full length plays and 6 one act plays. Apart from being a directed he acted, designed set and music for a number of play productions. He has travelled all over the country with the play productions of the group Aasakta. He also works with Progressive Dramatic Association, Samanvay and Maharashtra Cultural Centre etc. He has received several awards including the maharashtra State Award for his various works.

Moloyashree Hashmi | Actor/Administration/Teacher – Jana Natya Manch

Moloyashree Hashmi a school teacher by profession, (born 1953) is possibly India's best-known street theatre activist. For more than the last thirty years, she has been engaged in theatre, and since 1989 has been Secretary, Jana Natya Manch, India's premier street theatre group. She has been involved in the creation of more than 70 street plays and has more than 5,000 performances to her credit. She has worked with directors like Habib Tanvir, Anuradha Kapur, M.K. Raina, N.K. Sharma, and others, and playwrights such as Govind Deshpande. . She has been on the editorial board of Nukkad Janam Samvaad since its inception. She has worked in the field of elementary education for the last thirty years as primary school teacher and as a consultant. She has also used theatre as a pedagogic tool in the classroom. She has written several textbooks for English Education) and Environmental Studies, and evolved new educational material in other subjects as well. She has regularly conducted workshops for innovative techniques for several subjects at the elementary level for teachers in government and private schools. At present, she conducts the Theatre Practicum for students of the Bachelor of Elementary Education in five colleges of Delhi University.

Nirmala Ravindran Writer/Production/Administration – The Company Theatre/Harami Theatre

Nirmala Ravindran started off as an actor and director in 1993, and pursued it actively till 1998 before moving to the organizational side of theatre and to the back end of theatre. She hasactively involved with theatre in Bangalore, as part of the core group that built Ranga Shankara from 1997 to 2004. Involved with all aspects from fund raising to organising theatre festivals to programming for the festival(till 2005). She is also an active member of The Company Theatre based in Mumbai, where our greatest challenge is to raise funds and create a theatre residency (laboratory) in Mumbai for dedicated actors can live and work together. She has also curated the Theatre section of the Bangalore Habba(2007) and assisted Director of the Theatre Translation workshop that was funded by SRTT and conducted at Adishakti in Pondicherry. Her long term endeavour is to explore the possibility of creating a module for self sustenance for actors/directors/groups /institutions involved in non commercial theatre.

Omkar Gowardhan Actor – Aasakta Kalamanch, Pune

Omkar Gowardhan is active on the Marathi experimental front for the past 5 years. He has been working as an actor and also into the oraganisation and management of Aasakta Kala Manch, Pune. He has acted in a commercial play Manomilan as well as in experimental plays like Fridgemadhye Thevalela Prem, Chandralok Complex. Presently he is acting in the play Charshe Koti Visarbhole written by Makarand Sathe and directed by Mohit Takalkar. Omkar had the opportunity to enact lead roles in the Hindi feature film Bewaqt Baarish and Marathi film Sangeet Savitri Akhyaan, directed by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar respectively

Padmaja Huilgol Actor – Sriranga/Karnatak Kalodharak Sangh

Padmaja Huilgol is a radio artiste and works with the group Sriranga. She has portrayed lead roles in the amateur productions of Sriranga. She lives in Dharwad, Karnataka.

Palagummi Sainath Journalist

Palagummi Sainath is the winner of the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts. Over decades of reporting, he has established himself as among the pre-eminent chroniclers of rural life in our times. His stories, photo-essays, and other work record an India seldom visible to many of us. Sainath received the A.H. Boerma Award in 2001 for his contributions. In July 2004, he was awarded the Prem Bhatia Award for excellence in political reporting and analysis for 2003-04 in recognition of his "outstanding, indeed exceptional, work on the problems of the poorest of the poor, especially in Andhra Pradesh." He is the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu.

Prabir Purkayastha Engineer/Science Activist

Prabir Purkayastha is an engineer by profession and a science activist. Founder member of the Delhi Science Forum and All India Peoples Science Network. Also a part of the core group that organized the World Science Forum in India. He has written extensively on the issues of science, technology and society.

Prakash Belawadi Director – Centre for Film and Drama, Bangalore

Prakash Belawadi is a theatre person, national award-winning filmmaker and journalist who lives and works in Bangalore. He the founder-secretary of Centre for Film and Drama, a trust set up by Suchitra Cultural Academy to launch a post-graduate school for filmmaking and acting. Prakash is a trustee of Suchitra Cultural Academy, trustee of Indian Foundation for the Arts and member of several cinema and performing arts' organisations in India.

Pralayan | Director/Writer/Poet/Journalist/Filmmaker – Chennai Kalai Kuzhu, Chennai

Pralayan has been working in theatre for more than 20 years. He is the convener of Chennai Kalai Kuzhu, which is leading the open air theatre movement in Tamilnadu. Pralayan worked as the chief resource person for the Arivoli Kala Jatha in Tamilnadu, Pondichery and Andaman & Nicobar islands He is also a writer, poet, a freelance broadcast journalist and makes documentary films. For the last 10 years he has been focusing on a theatre in education programme.

Prasad Vanarase Director/Translator/Administration – F.L.A.M.E.

Prasad Vanarase is a graduate of the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi. He has directed more than 50 plays and short plays in Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, Kannada and English. He has also translated and adapted plays in Marathi. Prasad works in three interrelated areas, those of Direction, Administration, and the Management of arts and performing arts. He is a founder trustee of Abhijaat Rangabhoomi, Pune. He has been associated with the London International Festival of Theatre for the last 3 years. He also works as National Creative Coordinator of Project Phakama in India. He has been involved in theatre training for more than 12 years and has worked as visiting faculty / guest director at the University of Pune, the NINASAM Theatre Institute, and the Shriram Centre for Performing Arts to name a few.

Pravin K P | Director/Administration/Painter – Magic Lantern, Chennai

Pravin K P is one of the founders of Magic Lantern, a Chennai-based theatre group. He has undergone professional training in theatre at the Strasbourg school of Theatre, France. Having directed ‘Don Juan’ and ‘Caligula’ for Koothu-p-pattarai, Pravin went on to direct ‘Wings and Masks’(contemporary dance), ‘Fables’, ‘Jeremy’, ‘Veshakkaran’, ‘Mashali Mohalla’ and ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ for Magic Lantern. He has been a vital part of many theatre and artists symposiums in Europe. Pravin mainly directs and produces plays, while also co-ordinating administrative matters and painting.

Pritham K Chakravarthy is an actress working freelance. She lives in Chennai.

R K Hudgi Writer/Organizer – Samudaya Karnataka

R K Hudgi is a writer and organizer and the State President of Samudaya, Karnataka, a cultural organization dedicated to people’s awareness. He also writes songs for the plays.

R K Shivkumar Director – Samudaya / Chintana Ranga Adhyayana Kendra

R K Shivkumar is a theatre director working withy Samudaya and Chintana Ranga Adhyayana Kendra. He has directed many plays such as Yana, Matantara, Nanoo Gandhi Aagtene etc. He has also attended numerous theatre workshops.

Rajarajeswari E Writer – Nireekshaa Women’s Theatre

Rajarajeswari E is a writer and the founder member of Nireeksha, women’s theatre group based in Thiruvananthapuram. She has scripted several plays for the group like Kudiyozhikal, Pravaachaka in Malayalam and translated the play A Secure Home by Elena Garro into Malayalam. She has also organized about 10 workshops for Nireeksha and coordinated the production and performance of Kudiyozhikal, Pravaachaka etc.

Rajendra Karanth Actor/Director/Writer/Organiser – Chittara, Bangalore

Rajendra Karanth is a playwright, director, actor and organizer working with the group Chittara, Bangalore. He has written several plays and acted in umpteen numbers of play productions. He has directed several plays with college students, latest being a musical play based on well-known Kannada poet K S Narasimhaswamy's works.

Rajiv Krishnan Director/Actor – Moonoverstillwater Productions / Perch

Rajiv Krishnan first forayed into theatre with the group Magic Lantern in Chennai in the early '90s. He acted in Tamil plays, including the first staging of Kalki Krishnamurthy's classic, 'Ponniyin Selvan' in 1999. He has also been directing plays in English, including his most recent staging of 'Sangathi Arinhya! (‘Have you heard!’) a play based on seven short stories by the Malayalam writer, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. This was part of a festival called 'Under the Mangosteen Tree' that Perch, a performance collective based in Chennai, organized to celebrate Basheer's centenary which falls this year.

Ram Bapat Professor, Political Philosophy& Political Sociology

Ram Bapat has been taking sustained interest in grass root Dalit, Adivasi and Women’s issues movements.From 1965 to 1991, he worked at Dept: of Politics and Public Administration, University of Pune with his area of emphasis on Political Philosophy and Political Sociology

Rashmi Vajpeyi Archivist – Natrang Pratishtan

Rashmi Vajpeyi is the Director of Natarang Pratishtan, New Delhi.

Raxa Naik Actor/Director/Administration – Jashwant Thaker Memorial Foundation

Raxa Naik is trained as an actress,director and documentary film maker. She has been doing theatre since 1965. She has worked under guidance of well known theatre director of Gujarat late Mr. Jashwant Thaker, Kailash Pandya,Damini Mehta and many more. She has acted in 50 full length plays, 30 one-act plays.She has also worked extensively on radio and television .She received many awards as an actress and as a film maker. She has also directed several plays. Raxa was part of the National Design Institutes's video and film making unit as a production manager. At present she is also associated with Jashwant Thaker memorial foundation as an actress and core group member.

Revathy Actor

Revathy is a renowned film actress who has acted in most of the south Indian languages and Hindi. Her directorial ventures include Mitr: My Friend and Phir Milenge and for the former one she received the National Award for Best Director. She made her debut on stage with the play No: 1 Madhav Baug directed by Chetan Datar which was premiered at the Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival 2007. She also served as the Jury Member of the International Fil Festival of Kerala 2007.

S Ramanujam Theatre Director/Professor

S Ramanujam born in 1935 is one of the senior most theatre directors in the country. He has a post graduate diploma in Drama and taught at Gandhigram Rural University. He held the positions of Asst. Director, School of Drama, Calicut University for six years and Professor, Head and Dean of Dept. of Drama, Tamil University, Thanjavur for 11 years. He also taught at Pondicherry University, Hyderabad University and Mattakalappu University, Sri Lanka. He also worked with UGC, TULIR and FIP. He was at the helm of revival projects of many folk and temple theatre art forms like Thappattam, Kalsika Purana Natakam, Dummy Horse Dance etc. He has more than 75 plays in his credit as a director in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and English. Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy has bestowed him with a fellowship and many institutions have awarded him various titles in recognition of his contributions to theatre.

S. Raghunandana Playwright/Translator/Director/ Stage Designer/Teacher – Sambandha

S. Raghunandana (born 1957): Kannada playwright, translator, stage director, stage designer, and teacher of stage acting, design and direction. BA , Bangalore University NSD Diploma and Fellow, Stage Direction (1981-82). Before and after studying at the NSD, was associated with Samudaya (1977-89). Abhinaya Prashikshaka at Nataka Karnataka Rangayana, Mysore (1989 – 2001). Guest faculty and stage director at NSD, Ninasam Theatre Institute, Ninasam Tirugata, Bharatendu Natya Akademy, Lucknow and School of Drama, Trichur, among other institutions. Has designed and directed major productions of plays by Bhasa, Shudraka, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, Samsa, Thoppil Bhasi, Omcheri Narayana Pillai, P.Lankesh, Sriranga, Shivarama Karanth, Pampa Mahakavi and G. P. Rajaratnam, M.R. Sreenivasmurthy, Siddalingiah, Brecht, Shakespeare, Chekov, Ibsen and Beckett, among others, and plays written by himself, as well as street plays, also all written by himself, for various radical movements such as Samudaya, Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad, Bharata Jana Vijnana Jatha, AITUC, and the National Literacy Mission. Has written the plays, ‘Etha Haaridhe Hamsa’, and ‘Sattavara Katheyalla’. Has adapted or translated, variously, plays by Odets, Brecht, Ibsen, Beckett, Euripides, Chekov, Bhasa, Ionesco and Kalidasa. Has published essays and papers on theatre in journals such as Theatre India and Humanscape in English, and in important Kannada journals such as Maatukathe and Deshakaala. Is, at the moment, a member of the Academic Council, National School of Drama. Is currently dedicated to the nurturing of Sambandha, a theatre company that seeks to do theatre professionally.

S.Thaninleima Director– Khenjonhlang: A Centre for Theatre Research & Production

S.Thaninleima, masters in Linguistics completed three years Diploma in Dramatic Arts from the National School of Drama, New Delhi with specialization in Design and Direction. She also had the rare opportunity of getting training from the masters like Ratan Tiyyam and H Kanhailal. Her plays Macbeth and Ei Ngaoba Natte were presented at the Bharat Rang Mahotsav, New Delhi.. She visited Japan as one of the delegates of international theatre directors to study Japanese performing arts. She also went to Korea to study higher technology in theatre designing in 2007.

Sadanand Menon Writer/Critic/Photographer/Light Designer

Sadanand Menon writes on critical issues of politics and culture, makes photographs and creates light design for stage. He has practiced and taught radical alternatives in media, has edited interventionist journals, is deeply involved with the creation of a contemporary Indian dance, and has curated one major exhibition of visual arts. Presently visiting faculty at Asian School of Journalism, Chennai.

Sameera Iyengar | Co-Founder, Junoon, Mumbai

Sameera Iyengar is co-founder of Junoon, an organisation that aims to create platforms for theatre in India, and thus unleash its power and magic for all to access and experience. In Junoon, she spearheads the Mumbai Local programme and plays a key role in conceptualising and developing Junoon's programmes and capacity building efforts. Previous to Junoon, Sameera was Director Projects at Prithvi Theatre, where she worked from 2002 to 2011. She has also worked part-time with the Seagull Theatre Quarterly. Sameera has a PhD focusing on theatre fromthe Department of South Asian Languages & Civilisations at the University of Chicago, but was bitten by the theatre bug while getting her BSc in Mathematics and a Minor in Theatre from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Sameera is a core member of the India Theatre Forum since its inception in 2006, and has co-edited Our Stage:The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today (Tulika 2009).

Samik Bandyopadhyay Editor/Scholar/Critic

Samik Bandyopadhyay is a leading editor, scholar, and critic of the arts. He is a member of the Academic Councils at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Vishwa Bharati, Santiniketan, visiting faculty at the annual Film Appreciation Course organized by the NFAI and FTII, Pune, and visiting lecturer at Ninasam’s annual Culture Course.

Sanjay Upadhyay Director/Music Director – Nirman Kala Manch, Patna / Safarmaina

Sanjay Upadhyay, with a Masters in English, graduated with specialization in acting, from the National School of Drama. The Founder Director of Nirman Kala Manch and Safarmaina (a children's theatre wing), he has been Director of the Shri Ram Centre, New Delhi. His dramatizations of autobiographical writing and poetry have been acclaimed stage productions. he has directed nearly thirty plays; and he has been popular for 'BIDESIA' ,the famous traditional folk of Bihar ,worked as music director in productions by eminent directors from all over India and abroad, including Satyadev Dubey, Bansi Kaul and Fritz Bennewitz; assisted Prakash Jha for his awardwinning film Damul; scored music and directed serials for televisions; conducted workshops for underprivileged children, creating a childrens's theatre wing with them; and has been associated as a resource person for workshop conducted by NSD, the Zonal Cultural Centres and Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Sanjna Kapoor | Co-Founder, Junoon, Mumbai

Sanjna Kapoor is co-founder of Junoon, an organisation that aims to create platforms for theatre in India. Prior to this, she was the Director of Prithvi Theatre. In her years at Prithvi she has initiated a number of activities , including Summertime at Prithvi – children’s workshops centred on theatre related skills. Her current focus is working towards an all-India theatre alliance, based on a practical sharing of resources and ideas, as well as consolidating and strengthening theatre practice in India. She is a member of the Core Team of the India Theatre Forum since its inception in 2006.

Sanjoy Ganguli Director/Writer – Jana Sanskriti

Sanjoy Ganguli is the founder member and Director of Jana Sanskriti, centre for Theatre of the Opressed which was founded in 1985. He has written, directed and composed many play productions for Nirman Kala Manch and also published widely on Theatre of the Oppressed. The message of Theatre of the Oppressed has reached far and wide in India through the workshops he has conducted in association with different groups across the country. His plays were presented at the International Theatre Festival of Theatre of the Oppressed in 1991 and 1993 in France and Brazil respectively. He has performed widely in France and conducted workshops for the University of Sussex and University of London. He has also worked as a visiting lecturer at University of East Anglia, Manchester and Leeds. He is a recipient of Mac Arthur Fellowship for the project Empowerment of Women through Theatre.

Santarao Journalist/Director – Praja Natya Mandali

Santarao is Vice President, Praja Natya Mandali, Andhra Pradesh. He directs plays and has a special interest in rural drama forms. He is also a journalist.

Sarang Sathaye Actor/Director – Aasakta Kalamanch, Pune

Sarang Sathaye has been active on the Marathi experimental front for the past 6 years. He has been working as actor-director, and also have designed sets and lights for a couple of plays. He has to his credit around 5 plays and 15 one act plays as an actor such as Pidhijaat, Chotyashya Suttit,, Tu, Poornaviram, Charshe Kot i Visarbhole. In 2004 he joined the theatre group ‘AASAKTA’ in Pune and the group has travelled with their plays to Delhi, Bombay, Kolkata and all over Maharashtra. He has also directed street theatre for Aasakta, and taught children for one year. He also acted in films like ‘Nital’ and ‘Paash’ and worked as assistant director for feature films ‘Restaurant’ and ‘Sangeet Savitree Aakhyan’

Saurabh Nayyar Actor/Administration – Aranya Theatre/Prithvi Theatre/India Theatre Forum

Saurabh Nayyar is an actor with Aranya theatre group, Mumbai and also acts in advertisements. He is part of the administrative team of India Theatre Forum.

Shaili Sathyu Direction, Production Design, Theatre for Children

Shaili Sathyu works in education and the arts, with a specific focus on children. She is formally trained as an educator and her theatre training has been through working on plays and theatre projects. She is the Artistic Director of Gillo, a group working in Theatre for Young Audiences. Her plays for children include Suar Chala Space Ko, Barsoraam Dhadaake Se and Kyun-Kyun Ladki. Shaili also works as consultant with schools, focusing on curriculum development and innovative teaching-learning processes. She has conducted several workshops for children and teachers, with themes ranging from the literary and visual to the performing arts.

Shankaraiah Ghanti Director/Actor/Organizer – Samudaya, Gulbarga

Shankaraiah Ghanti is a theatre director, actor and organizer working with Samudaya, Gulbarga. He has been working in the field for well over three decades. His recent proscenium play was Raavi Nadiya Dande Mele and directed a street play titled Bhagaavat Geete on communal harmony.

Shanta Gokhale Writer/Critic, Mumbai

Shanta Gokhale grew up watching Marathi theatre. After her return from Bristol University where she did bachelors in English language and literature, she began to review plays for the Marathi and English press. In 1981 she was appointed the Arts editor of the Times of India, Mumbai. During the three years that the page survived she was able to create interest among the readers for all the arts, including theatre. She also scouted for groomed young writers for the page. Some people who began their art criticism careers with the page are Ranjit Hoskote (art), Arundhathi Subramanian (dance), Himanshu Burte (architecture). She quit her job in 1992 to write a book on Marathi theatre entitled “Playwright at the Centre”. It was published by Seagull in 2000. She has written three plays. One was directed by Satyadev Dubey in Marathi and by Sunil Shanbag in Hindi. She has been a columnist with the Times of India, Mid-Day and currently Mumbai Mirror. Many of my columns are about theatre. The others are on Hindustani music, literature and other broad cultural issues. She has translated several plays from Marathi into English, and edited "Satyadev Dubey: A Fifty-Year Journey Through Theatre"

Shiv Visvanathan Professor/Writer – (DA-IICT)

Shiv Visvanathan taught at the Delhi School of Economics. He was senior fellow Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi and is currently Professor, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar. He is author of Organizing for Science (OUP, Delhi, 1985), A Carnival for Science (OUP, Delhi, 1997) and has co-edited Foulplay: Chronicles of Corruption (Banyan Books, Delhi, 1999). He is a regular columnist to newspapers like The New Indian Express, Indian Express, Times of India, and DNA. He has held visiting professorships at Stanford, Arizona, Smith and London.

Shyamala Vanarase Psychologist/Writer/Teacher

Shyamala Vanarase is a conulting psychologist. She has been working as a professional in the area of HRD for the last three decades. She taught film appreciation at different institutions in the country. She wrote a book on the celebrated play of Vijay Tendulkar, Ghashiram Kotwal and currently writing a series on Satyajit Ray on Roopavani a film magazine. She is also teaching at Dept. of Communication media for children at SNDT University, Pune.

Siddharth Narrain Legal Researcher – Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore

Siddharth Narrain is working with Alternative Law Forum (ALF), Bangalore. ALF is working on a proposal with Prithvi Thetare to look at forms of theatre censorship in post independence India, especially at the enforcement of the Dramatic Performances Act. Censorship of theatre is one of the two forms of pre censorship that is enforced in India, (the other being cinema)but there has been very little research and public debate on the subject. We are hoping to collect case studies with the help of groups like Ninasam, Ranga Shankara and other theatre groups across the country to examine how the Dramatic Performances Act is being enforced , and what the other legal and extra legal forms of censorship that operate when it comes to theatre.

Smitha P Actor/Painter, Trivandrum

Smitha P is an actress who had worked with Abhinaya Theatre and Nireeksha Women’s Theatre based in Thiruvananthapuram. She is also a painter and was selected for the Kendra Sahithya Akademi’s workshop for young writers held in Kerala in 2006. She also acted in a short film directed by noted young film maker Vipin Vijay.

Sophia Stepf Director/Critic – Flinntheater (Kassel/Germany)

Sophia Stepf worked in German Theatre for 10 years and for the last 5 years she has earned her living through theatre, mostly as a dramaturge for international theatre festivals (Theatrer der Welt in Stuttgart, Vienna Festwochen) but also with producing her own work in hometown Kassel. The lack of funding for independent theatre companies there has led to a certain aesthetic and her to the verge of commercial theatre. She has worked in India for the Max Muller Bhavan and also written reviews and articles on Indian theatre for the German theatre magazines Theater Heute and Theater der Zeit.

Sudhanva Deshpande | Actor/Director/Writer/Publisher – Jana Natya Manch / Leftword Books, Delhi

Sudhanva Deshpande is an actor and director with Jana Natya Manch (Janam), a radical political theatre collective based in New Delhi. He has been involved in the creation of dozens of street, proscenium and other performances, and has lectured and led workshops in institutions across India, as well as in Germany, Poland, the US and UK. He has held teaching positions at the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad) and the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi). He writes on theatre and politics, and has edited Theatre of the Streets: The Jana Natya Manch Experience (Janam 2007) and co-edited Our Stage: The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today (Tulika 2009). He has co-directed two documentary films on Naya Theatre and Habib Tanvir (available from Magic Lantern Films). He is a member of the Core Team of the India Theatre Forum. Since 1999, he has headed LeftWord Books, an independent publishing house, as Managing Editor, as well as May Day Bookstore and Cafe since 2012. He was an Arthink South Asia (ATSA) Fellow for 2011-12, and has been involved in the conceptualisation, creation, administration and programming of Studio Safdar, Shadi Khampur.

Sudhi C V Director – Nireekshaa Women’s Theatre

Sudhi C V graduate Of School of Drama, University of Calicut., has been continuously working in theatre after graduation in 1993. Directed several plays like Chirakadiyochakal, Kudiyozhikkal, Pravaachaka, Oru urappulla Vasati etc in Malayalam. Also has several workshop productions notably Kanalpodu with the residents of Cheshire Home bringing for the first time on Malayalam stage actors on wheelchairs. She has conducted workshops for women’s groups using theatre techniques for developing personal skills, produced street plays on women’s and social issues. She is also the founder member of Nireeksha, women’s theatre group based in Thriuvananthapuram.

Sundar Sarukkai Professor/Writer – National Institute of Advanced Studies

Sundar Sarukkai is Professor and Dean, School of Humanities and the Head, Centre for Philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He works in philosophy and his interests include philosophy of science, philosophy of language and philosophy of art. He is the author of the following books ‘Translating the world: Science and Language’, ‘Philosophy of Symmetry’ and ‘Indian philosophy and philosophy of science’.

Sushama Deshpande Playwright/Director/Actor/Organiser

Sushama Deshpande is a playwright, theatre director, actor and organizer and has been working in the field for well over 20 years. Savitri bai Phule, Tichya aaichi goshta arthat mazya athavanincha phad, and Gandhi mala bhetle are some of the landmark plays written and directed by her. She has been writing on theatre and art on several dailies and magazines for the past few years. She has undergone training in Theatre of the Oppressed directly from Mr. Augusto Boal. She was also trained under Satyadeb Dubey and Amol Palekar. Her works are focusing on the women’s issues and using theatre as the tool. She has participated in several international seminars and workshops and also performed some of her plays abroad.

T Thevananth Director/Writer/Administration – Active Theatre Movement

T Thevananth heads Active Theatre Movement, Jaffna Sri Lanka. His group has conducted numerous workshops on spreading the awareness about landmine problems in Lanka, gender balance, human rights issues, health issues and psychological effects of war. Active Theatre Movement aims at building community theatre and using theatre for the social welfare of the people of Sri Lanka.

Vaidehi Rao Writer

Vaidehi Rao is one of the most significant writers of modern Kannada. Starting as a writer of short stories during the early eighties she has written poetry, fiction, reminiscences, essays, children’s plays, and translations. Most of her books are published by Akshara Prakashana, Heggodu. Her childrens’ plays have been staged successfully at Ninaasam, Heggodu, in Rangayana (the Karnataka State repertory) directed by B.V. Karanth and others. She has collected, edited and narrated memoirs of theatre stalwart B.V. Karanth in the name of Illiralaare Allige Hogalaare which is now translated into English and going to be published by National School of Drama. Some of her selected stories have been translated into several Indian languages. The English translation of her selected 20 stories has been published by Penguin publications as ‘Gulabi Talkies & Other Stories’ which is edited by Ms. Tejaswini Niranjana. She has received many awards Katha prize, Anupama award and the M.K .Indira prize , Sahithya academy awards as well as the prestigious Dana Chinthamani Attimabbe Award ((the highest award given to a woman-writer for her total literary contribution by the Govt. of Karnataka).

Vikram Iyengar | Dancer, Choreographer, Director – Ranan, Kolkata

Vikram Iyengar, Artistic Director, Ranan was initiated into Kathak by Smt. Rani Karnaa in 1981, Vikram Iyengar is graded solo artist with Calcutta Doordarshan, and registered with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre. He has performed for several prestigious institutions including the Sangeet Natak Akademi and Kathak Kendra, Delhi; Prithvi Theatre Festival, Mumbai and National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai. He has also travelled to USA, UK, Hong Kong, Moscow, Qatar and Bhutan. He is a recipient of the Government of India National Scholarship and National Junior Fellowship for Dance and holds a Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad. An INLAKS scholar with an MA in Performing Arts from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Vikram has also taught Asian and Intercultural Theatre at BA and MA levels in the UK. He has contributed articles to various Indian and foreign publications, presented papers at international seminars, conducted a variety of workshops and worked on several arts research projects for institutions in India and abroad. Vikram's production work has spanned choreography for stage and film, dance-theatre, and performance collaborations. He has worked with several experimental performance directors in Europe in spaces ranging from traditional theatres to abandoned tram depots, medieval castles and Edwardian manors. Co-founder of Ranan, Vikram is Artistic Director of the company.

Vivek Shanbag Writer/Editor – Deshakaala

Vivek Shanbag writes in Kannada and has published four short story collections, two novels and two plays. He has also written many articles and literary essays. Vivek is editing a unique literary journal in Kannada named Desha Kaala' (meaningSpace and Time') for last 3 years. Vivek works with Unilever and lives in Bangalore.