Playwrights Forum

The Playwrights Forum

A gathering of playwrights from across India to discuss the best practices in theatre

27, 28, 29 November 2009 Delhi

The Playwrights’ Forum is part of our effort at creating guidelines for best practices with reference to existing practices and law. The playwright is privileged in this forum. The playscript is still the primary resource material for productions and a Repository of Scripts is proposed on the India Theatre Forum website. We hope, through this forum, to evolve certain guidelines for ethical practice which will ensure that people accessing scripts from the website will respect the conditions laid down by the playwrights. The forum involved playwrights, translators, legal experts and other theatre practitioners. Playwrights presented their views on current practice and discussed the idea of copyrights with domain experts.

Introduction: Setting up of ITF to improve conditions for the Practice of theatre.
  •    Creative Practices in India: appropriation, expropriation and ownership by Pravin KP
A historical perspective on theatre practice, creation and knowledge
  •    A historical perspective on theatre practice, creation and knowledge. by Samik Bandyopadhyay
The trajectory of a playwright
  •    The trajectory of a playwright: sources for creation, tools for outreach, by Shanta Gokhale
The world of Playwrights
  •    Discussion by Playwrights
Understanding Copyright issues vis-a-vis theatre in India
  •    Understanding Copyright issues vis-a-vis theatre in India by Devika
Understanding the Web: Creative Oppurtunities and Pitfalls
  •    Understanding the Web: Creative Oppurtunities and Pitfalls. by Prabir Purkayastha
The ITF Script Repository
  •    The ITF Script Repository: why and how by Sudhanva Deshpande
Guidelines for Best Practices in Fair Use
  •    Guidelines for Best Practices in Fair Use by Lawrence Liang
Open Discussion
  •    Open Discussion
Anis Azmi Writer

Anis Azmi is the author of 32 plays, including many for children. Some of his popular plays include Khul Ja Simsim and Inqilaab Zindabad.

Arun Mukherjee Playwright

Arun Mukherjee, born in 1937,had been associated with the Cultural Wing of the State Co-ordination Committee durin late fiftees, with the IPTA in the sixtees and formed CHETANA in the seventees. His two major productions are MAREECH SANGBAD& JAGANNATH.

Brijesh Writer/Actor – Jana Natya Manch

Brijesh is a playwright and actor with Jana Natya Manch. He is the author of Shambukvadh, Varun ke Bete and other proscenium plays, and has worked on several street plays as well.

Choiti Ghosh | Object Theatre Practitioner - Tram Theatre /ITF , Mumbai/Delhi

Choiti is an Object Theatre practitioner, actor and puppeteer. She started out in children's theatre first as a performer and then as facilitator with special interest in Drama and Alternate Education. She worked as a freelance actor-singer-puppeteer-administrator with a number of theatre groups around the country. Then she ventured into Object Theatre and found herself hooked! She trained with Agnes Limbos at the Institut International de la Marionnette, Charleville Mezieres, France. In 2011 she started Tram Theatre with a group of friends, with the aim to specialise in Object Theatre. Choiti currently also handles the ITF administrative office.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lawrence Liang The Alternative Law Forum

Lawrence Liang is a graduate form National Law School subsequently pursued his Masters degree in Warwick, England on a Chevening Scholarship. His key areas of interest are law, technology and culture, the politics of copyright and he has been working closely with Sarai, New Delhi on a joint research project Intellectual Property and the Knowledge/Culture Commons. A keen follower of the open source movement in software, Lawrence has been working on ways of translating the open source ideas into the cultural domain.

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.

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’.

Manoj Shah Playwright/Director – Ideas Unlimited

Manoj Shah is a Gujarati playwright & Director with ‘Ideas Unlimited’. his JAL JAL MARE PATANG is third in line after MAREEZ and APURVA AVSAR of the unsung and little known biographies of Gujarati luminaries, who have excelled in Literature, Philosophy and the Arts.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sachin kundalkar is a filmaker , playwright and novelist from maharashtra . His plays include "Chotyashya suttit" ( On vacation ) "Fridge madhye thevalela prem" ( Love in the refrigirator ) , "Chandralok complex" and "poornaviram" ( repose ) .his first marathi novel "Cobalt Blue" was published in 2005 . He is trained in filmmaking from FTII ( Pune ) and La Femis ( Paris ) He has written and directed three feature films and several short films.

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.

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.

Sandesh Kulkarni is a writer,actor & director from Marathi Theatre. The first full-length play that he wrote, PAHILA VAHILA was the only Marathi play to be performed in a festival organized by the British Council in association with the Royal Court Theatre, London. He was selected from India for an International Residency for Playwrights- A one month workshop in the Royal Court Theatre London in July 2003. His stage adaptation of Vijay Tendulkar’s columns ‘Kovali Unhe’ was a unique success. He even conducts theatre workshops and workshops in creative writing for young people and adults too. He and his theatre group, ‘Samanvay’ are doing work that must be noted.

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.

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.

Shafaat Khan Writer

Shafaat Khan is one of the leading playwright of modern Marathi Theatre. He has successfully evolved a unique style of play writing. He has written important plays such as , Shobhayatra., Bhumiticha Farce, Mumbaiche Kawale, Rahile Door Ghar Maze etc.

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"

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.

Tripurari Sharma Writer/ Director

Tripurari Sharma has conducted numerous theatre workshop around the country to develop scripts around social issue & local problems with women’s groups, college students, factory workers and others. She has developed and directed many producations for her own company ‘Alarippu’ as well as directing such plays as Galileo (B.H.U, Varanasi) and Six Characters In Search of An Author.(I.I.T., Kanpur). For the National School of Drama in Delhi She has directed Adhe Adhure, and her own Kaath Ki Gaadi [The Wooden Cart]. She was the Indian Representative at the first women's playwright conference in the U.S. in 1988; coordinated a year-long project on women and theatre for the Women's Conference in Beijing; and is co-director of the TV serial "Shakti" on women's issues. She is a recipient of the Sankriti and Natya Sangh awards, and currently teaches acting at the NSD.