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Survival Stories

Survival Stories

15, 16, 17 December 2006 At Ninasam, Heggodu

At this forum meet held at Ninasam, theatrepersons from across the country exchanged their own survival stories in theatre. From these survival stories what seemed more and more evident is the desperate need for the theatre community to create a sense of value of its contribution and standing to society at large. This goes beyond a value in terms of economic costs but more in terms of value of the status and esteem that the arts and theatre in particular should bear in a civilised society.

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.

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.

Basavalingaiah Director

Basavalingaiah has been working in Kannada Theatre for a decade and a half.

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

D Reghoothaman Director – Abhinaya

D Reghoothaman is Director of ABHINAYA, a theatre research centre functioning from Thiruvananthapuram since 1992, for which he took the major initiative and interest. Now Abhinaya is a theatre group of international repute; Reghoothaman has been working as its Director since its inception. In 1995, Reghoothaman was one of the artists from Kerala selected by Footsbarn Travelling Theatre (France) in 1995 to work with them. He worked with Footsbarn till 1997, staging more than 150 productions of the play THE ODYSSEY across the world. Reghoothaman has also worked extensively with his mentor, Prof. G Sankara Pillai, assisting him and acting in several plays. He is a graduate of the School of Drama at University of Calicut, before which he was associated with Nataka Yogam, a theatre group in Thiruvananthapuram. Soon after graduation he led a four member team on a six month All India Performance Tour. On his return to Kerala in 1989, he started learning Kathakali, Kalarippayattu and sculpture.

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.

Iqbal Ahmed Director/Designer – Children's Theatre

Iqbal Ahmed has been working in Children’s Theatre in Karnataka and closely works with Ninasam. He also runs a craft shop called Gudi in Bangalore

K.G. Krishnamurthy Director – Kinnaramela

K.G. Krishnamurthy is the founder of Kinnara Mela, a theatre group working mainly with Children's theatre in Karnataka. He has undergone training in theatre at Ninasam and the NSD. Has directed several productions in Kannada and has taught at various places including School of Drama, Trichur.

Kavita Pai Research/Programme Ass. – SRTT
No bio available.
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)

Prakash Garud Director – Children's Theatre

Prakash Garud a Theatre Director is hailing from Theatre family. Prakash Garud completed his B.Sc. degree and then he did his Diploma in Theatre at NINASAM. He completed his Post Graduation course in Theatre at Madhurai Kamaraj University. He also holds a Phd in Theatre. He took a research work in Puppet making and finally evolved a special shadow puppet repertory company and named it as a CHAYACHALANE. He performed a shadow puppet show throughout Karnataka. He and his wife Mrs. Rajani Prakash Garud are the founders of PUPPET HOUSE (Gombe Mane). With this Puppet House they are engaged in puppet performance activities. With the help of puppet showing activities they engaged in Alternative Education in Education field. They are the founder members of BALABALAGA SRUJANASHEELA SHIKSHNA TRUST also. He has directed play productions like Hamlet, Othelo, Shudra Tapaswi, Smashana Kurukshetra, Haddina Kannu, Anjumallige.

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.

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.

Sameera Iyengar | Co-Founder, Junoon, Mumbai

Sameera Iyengar is co-founder of Junoon, an organisation that aims to make theatre/arts an integral and powerful part of our everyday lives. In Junoon, she plays a key role in conceptualising and developing Junoon's programmes and capacity building efforts, as well as building the organisation. She is also currently Course Director of SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre), a unique course designed specifically for theatre groups in India, and offered under the aegis of the India Theatre Forum (ITF). Sameera was also a founding member of the ITF in 2006, and remained a core member till 2014. As part of her ITF contribution, she co-edited Our Stage:The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today (Tulika 2009). Previous to Junoon, Sameera was Director Projects at Prithvi Theatre for close to a decade, and has also worked with the Seagull Theatre Quarterly. She has a PhD on theatre from the Department of South Asian Languages & Civilisations at the University of Chicago. She was bitten by the theatre bug however during her undergraduate years at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), from where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BSc in Mathematics and a Minor in Theatre. Sameera believes that theatre and the arts open doors to imagination, understanding and living life with fullness, curiosity, empathy and sheer joy. She delights in sharing this experience and possibility with all people.

Sanjna Kapoor | Co-Founder, Junoon, Mumbai

Sanjna Kapoor is co-founder of Junoon, a social enterprise that aims to create platforms for theatre in India. Sanjna is well known for her passionate work with theatre over twenty-five years, and for having built Prithvi Theatre into one of India’s premier cultural hubs. She has also played a key role as catalyst for theatre for children. She currently spearheads Junoon’s school programme. Sanjna has also been responsible for initiating the India Theatre Forum network for theatre practitioners. 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.

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 Palestine, South Africa, 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.