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Spaces of Theatre, Spaces for Theatre

A National Seminar organised by the India Theatre Forum in an effort to contextualise, historicise and problematise the processes and practices of theatre in India.
14th - 18th March, 2012
At Ninasam, Heggodu, Karnataka. See Map and Directions

Supported by:
Ministry of Culture
  Hivos
  French Embassy
  French Embassy
  The Hindu
  Embassy of Brazil
  Syndicate Bank
  IndiGo Airlines
  Max Mueller Bhavan
 
14th March | Introduction and Opening Session
  •    Welcome Address by Akshara KV
  •    Introduction by Sudhanva Deshpande
14th March | SESSION I: The Body in Space

This session focuses on what the actor’s body does in space, and in turn, how the actor’s body, in a sense, creates space. Two theatre directors speak about various aspects of the theories that have influenced their work, and a dancer speaks about what theories of dance, from classical to modern, say about the body in space.

Chair: Sadanand Menon
Speakers: Veenapani Chawla, Sankar Venkateswaran, Preethi Athreya

  •    Spaces of the Body by Preethi Athreya
  •    The Body in Space by Sankar Venkateswaran
  •    Space and the Actor by Veenapani Chawla
  •    Introduction by Sadanand Menon
  •    Discussion and Responses
15th March | Talk by Romi Khosla: Building for People
  •    Building for People by Romi Khosla
15th March | SESSION II: The Performance Space

This session focuses on spaces built for actors – auditoria, other performance spaces, rehearsal spaces, and so on. The session features one dancer-choreographer who has built a space specifically for rehearsal, a light designer who will speak about her experience in spaces she has worked in, and an actor-director on what works – and what doesn’t – in the various venues he has performed in.

Chair: Abhilash Pillai
Speakers: Jayachandran Palazhy, Zuleikha Chowdhury, Atul Kumar

  •    Atul Kumar
  •    Zuleikha Chowdhury
  •    DIscussions and Responses
  •    Introduction by Abhilash Pillai
  •    Jayachandran Palazhy
15th March | Building for Theatre

This session features two architects – one will share his experience of building the Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai, and the other will share his thoughts and experiences in building a number of theatre spaces.

Chair: Himanshu Burte
Speakers: Ved Segan, Iain Mackintosh

  •    Iain Mackintosh
  •    Ved Segan
  •    DIscussions and Responses
16th March | Talk by Jean-Guy Lecat: Transforming Spaces for Theatre

This talk focuses on how non-theatre spaces – for instance, a warehouse or an empty factory – can be transformed into theatre spaces.

  •    Transforming Spaces for Theatre by Jean-Guy Lecat
16th March | SESSION III: Design for the Theatre

This session is structured as a panel discussion on scenography, where directors and scenographers talk about how they transform the performance space for particular productions.

Moderator: Sunil Shanbag
Panelists: Jean Guy Lecat, Sadanand Menon, Sankar Venkateswaran

  •    Design for the Theatre by Iain Mackintosh
  •    Iain Mackintosh
  •    Sadanand Menon
  •    Jean-Guy Lecat
  •    Sankar Venkateswaran
  •    DIscussions and Responses
16th March | SESSION IV: Spaces Politics and Interventions

This session considers the politics of spaces and modes of interventions. The first presentation argues that there are no ‘neutral’ spaces, that spaces are always-already charged with history, politics, contestations. The other interventions in this session range from considering the question of exclusions and performance spaces, to considering the spaces that theatre needs to stake a claim to, to strategies of interventions that use technology and the media in innovative ways.

Chair: M.K. Raina
Speakers: Samik Bandyopadhyay, Pralayan, Sunil Shanbag, CAMP

  •    Samik Bandhopadhyaya
  •    Pralayan
  •    Sunil Shanbag
  •    CAMP by Ashok Sukumaran and Shaina Anand
  •    DIscussions and Responses
17th March | Talk: The SESC Story

A talk about the SESC programme in Brazil, a public-private partnership that has resulted in the creation of a number of arts and sports complexes across the country.

  •    The SESC Story by Ivan Paulo Giannini
17th March | SESSION V: Institutional Spaces

This session features, besides the moderator, four panelists: three are representatives of leading theatre institutions which have sustained and nurtured theatre over several years, and one is a senior theatreperson who has been associated with several institutions and projects. The session is designed as a discussion where the panel will ask questions and share experiences of key areas in institution building such as management, sustainability, long-term vision, and impact.

Moderator: Milena Dragicevic-Sesic
Panelists: K.V. Akshara, Sanjna Kapoor, Satish Alekar

  •    Introduction by Milena Dragicevic-Sesic
  •    Discussion with the panelists: Satish Alekar, Akshara KV and Sanjna Kapoor
17th March | SESSION VI: Nurturing Spaces

In this session, people who head a variety of theatre institutions will be in conversation, exploring issues that arise in keeping theatre spaces alive. Issues expected to be covered include, for instance, questions of connections to the community, financial sustainability, training younger managers, and so on.

Moderator: Prakash Belawade
Panelists: Vikram Iyengar, Shukracharya Rabha, Andreas Lübbers

  •    Introduction by Prakash Belawadi
  •    Shukracharya Rabha
  •    Andreas Lubbers
  •    Vikram Iyengar
  •    Discussion and Responses
18th March | Talk by Romila Thapar: The City in History

A talk that explores the form of the city as it has developed through history, and considers what sorts of ideas and artistic expressions have different cities fostered at different points in time, and why.

  •    The City in History by Romila Thapar
18th March | SESSION VII: The Future of Spaces

This session considers the question: where is the rapid urbanization currently underway throughout the world, leading us? What are the cities of the future going to be like? What are the villages of the future going to be like? What sorts of cultural and arts practices forms can we envisage that will be appropriate to these emerging and future spaces?

Chair: George Jose
Speakers: Romi Khosla, Satish Alekar, Sundar Sarukkai

  •    Introduction by George Jose
  •    Satish Alekar
  •    Romi Khosla
  •    Sundar Sarukkai
  •    Discussion and Responses
18th March | SESSION VIII: Open Discussion

A session in which the participants will discuss the issues emerging from the seminar.

Chair: Keval Arora

  •    Open Discussion moderated by Keval Arora
18th March | SESSION IX: Concluding Session

The final session, where two of the most incisive minds working in the field of Indian theatre will respond to the themes and issues thrown up by the seminar.

Chair: Akshara KV
Speakers: Shanta Gokhale, Rustom Bharucha

  •    Introduction by Akshara KV
  •    Rustom Bharucha
  •    Shanta Gokhale
  •    Vote of Thanks by Sanjna Kapoor
A V Gopalakrishnan Theatre Enthusiast, Mumbai

AV Gopalakrishnan is a theatre enthusiast for the past 30 years or so.

Abdul Shayek Creative Associate - National Theatre Wales

Abdul works as the Creative Associate with National Theatre Wales. He directs, produces and manages the 'Assembly' projects & also looks after all research & development projects at NTW.

Abhilash Pillai Theatre Director / Faculty – NSD, Delhi
No bio available.
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 Kumar PhD student - Delhi University, Delhi

M.A. in Hindi. pursuing Ph.D. From Hindi Dept. of Delhi University. also working as UTA in the dept. Title of Ph.D. work is "Theatrical experiment of Habib Tanvir and Post independence Theatre" A regular spectator of Delhi theatre. Writes a blog fully dedicated to Theatre named Rangwimarsh (rangwimarsh.blogspot.com). Articles published in NATRANG (Theatre magzine), Vak(Hindi journal), jansatta (hindi daily) Pakhi etc. Also contributes to web magzines like sarokar.net, mohallalive.com, isahitya.com, rangayan.com.

Andreas Lubbers Artistic Director- Sprechwerk, Hamburg, Germany

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 public 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.

Anita Cherian Professor – Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi

Anita Cherian teaches English at the University of Delhi’s Indraprastha College for Women. However, her research interests are directed towards the study of Cultural Policy, Performance and the State. She completed her doctoral thesis, titled ‘Fashioning a National Theatre: Institutions and Cultural Policy in Post-Independence’ from the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Anitha Santhanam Actor/Dancer, Bangalore

Anitha is a seasoned performer with over a decade of work as a professional dancer. She moved from dance to theatre with her solo work Vanaprastham (2006) which won significant media acclaim in India and Germany. After Vanaprastham, she pursued a two year Advanced Diploma in Creating Theatre and Performance from LISPA London supported through a scholarship from LISPA (2009-2010) and the Charles Wallace India Trust Award (2007-2008). Her recent theatre work includes - To Sea on a Sieve, Ms Meena and An Arrangement of Shoes.

Ankita Anand Copy Editor/Director - Aatish, Delhi

Ankita is part of a group called Aatish. They mainly do street theatre because they want to highlight concerns marginalized, often deliberately, by the mainstream media. They do some one-act plays too. Aatish is determined to create new spaces for theatre, to take it to people across classes-to the very communities whose problems we take up, and learn from them. They also hold workshops in these communities who then produce their own plays.

Anubha Fatehpuria Architect/Actor, Kolkata

Recipient of Nagpur University Gold Medal (2001 – B.Arch.). Interned at SANGATH – Ahmedabad (Ar. B.V. Doshi & Ar. Yatin Pandya). Her work shows a strong focus towards alternate ways of building (stone, mud, natural resource harvesting) and recycling architectural elements. Has also designed performance spaces for Padatik and Ranan, Kolkata and is a core group member/actor in both groups. Recipient of Shyamal Sen Smriti Puruskar (2007) for theatre acting. She has worked under Habib Tanvir, Shyamanand Jalan, Alyque Padamsee, Rajinder Nath, Suman Mukherjee, Vikram Iyengar, Jayant Kriplani, Vinay Sharma, Kunal Padhy amongst others. Has also directed children’s plays for PeaceWorks - a Seagull initiative.

Aparna Performer/Dramaturg, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore
No bio available.
Arasu V Prof. in Tamil - Univ. of Madras, Chennai
No bio available.
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.

Ashish Ghosh Teacher/Founder - ANANT, Delhi

Born in 1944; did post-graduation and Ph.D from the University of Delhi, and retired as a teacher from there in 2006. learnt music from Late Sachindranath Sen, Late Jyotirindra Moitra and from Shri Sudhir Chanda. Specialised in children's theatre, Working with many agencies in the field of arts intervention in primary schools in particular. He founded ANANT (An Association for Nascent Art and Natural Theatre) in 1989, to work with the young adults who were in his drama workshops as children, and many of whom are now working in children's theatre. His present motivation is to organise TYA (Theatre for Young Audience) through ASSITEJ India. He was the convener of the "First National Conference on Theatre for Young Audience: Concept, Need and Possibilities", held at New Delhi from 4-6 August, 2011.

Ashish Mehta | Administration – Aasakta Kalamanch, Pune

Ashish Mehta, Core Team Member - 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.

Ashok Sagar Bhagat Light and Set Designer / Professor - NSD, Delhi

Veteran Light & Set Designer of North India,since graduation from National School of Drama, New Delhi in 1979. He has been on the visiting faculty of Bhartendu Natya Akadmie and Indian Theatre Institute etc. Presently he is working with National School of Drama as Professor (Theatre Architecture). He was conferred the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Award’ on the 7th day of July 2003 by his Excellency, the President of India, for his contribution to stage lighting.

Ashwini Kasi Theatre Artist/Trainer, Chennai

Ashwini Kasi hails from traditional Koothu artist’s family and is a theatre artist in Tamil. She has a post graduate degree in Geography and Diploma in Arts Management.
She has worked with Aseema Trust on South Indian Girl Child Initiative, gave training on Therukoothu also spinning on Charkha for under privileged children, also worked with Sukriti Social Foundation on training differently-abled children in computer skills and Ma Foi Foundation on assisting selected school children in co- and extra curricular activities. She has conducted theatre workshops for school children and different communities. Recently she assisted Mangai in a workshop organized by Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Batticaola, Srilanka to evolve a play and strengthen their cultural activism. She recently played a play “ Molagaapodi” in National Schools of Drama’s Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2012 also in International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK 2012). She is also a cast and Assisting in Direction in Mangai’s New Production “ Anamaiyoo Anmai”. She hopes to see the rich heritage of Koothu, immediacy of the power of theatre and the passion to help in voicing the voiceless converge in an eclectic fashion in all her efforts."

Asim Siddiqui Academician/Artist, Manipal
No bio available.
Atul Kumar Actor/ Director/Producer/Artistic Director - The Company Theatre, Mumbai

Atul has worked in India and abroad as an actor with various directors, organisations and theatre forms. He has also directed theatre performances in various languages. In 1993, he formed his own ensemble The Company Theatre that not only performed extensively but also conducted acting workshops, organised seminars and conferences, explored alternative theatre spaces, engaged youth in theatre and finally, established an International Residency for Theatre Research and Performance in the countryside of Maharashtra.

Atul Tiwari Director/Playwright, Mumbai
No bio available.
Balakrishna Iyer Actor - Rangshilpi, Chattisgarh

Doing theatre for the last 18 years. Started as an actor and backstage person and from 2002 started direction and script writing. Presently working with a group "RANGSHILPI" at Durg Chhattisgarh and trying to promote theatre among youngsters.

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.

Chanakya Vyas Actor/Director/Playwright - Indian Ensemble, Bangalore

Chanakya Vyas is a theatre practitioner based in Bangalore and works as an Actor and Theatre facilitator with Indian Ensemble , a three-year old Bangalore based Theatre company, where he completed his Foundation Course in Theatre. His first playscript, Tales of Kutty, was awarded the first runner-up prize by the Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Award held in Mumbai this year and was staged by Mashaal Theatre Group later this year. He also works with schools and learning centres to impart Arts Education Program, as part of the Indian Ensemble Social Wing. He is currently working on an independent research project for his next playscript which deals with the subject of Indian Diaspora in East Africa.

Chandan Kumar Principal Development Strategist - Atelier, Delhi

I am associated as Principal Development Strategist with Atelier. My essential focus is to look into new areas of development with regard to theatre and performing arts. In my multiple role lead projects, promotion, alliances and fund raising.

Chandana Kumar Vemana Designer/Director, Pondicherry

Researching in the area of Digital Performance Practices in Theatre. Producing Multimedia Theatre Productions. Now concentration on Digital Interactive Live Theatre Performance Projects (Virtual Theatre Production).

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.

David Selvaraj Director - Bangalore Little Theatre, Bangalore

An educationalist and activist,exploring and deeply committed to transformational learning. Much of his work over the last 25 years has been through Visthar, a non formal academy of justice and peace studies, based in Bangalore.

Deepa Gahlot Journalist/Arts Administrator - NCPA, Mumbai

Deepa Gahlot is a Mumbai-based writer, theatre and film columnist, and Head of Theatre and Film at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai

Devina Dutt Writer, Mumbai

Devina started as a news and business journalist and have also written on the arts especially the performing arts. I have been a corporate communications consultant for the last eight years. She has translated and edited texts including film scripts, poetry and short stories. She continues to write on the arts, and is interested in theatre, dance, music and literature of any kind.

Divya Chandra Director - BooGioll Productions, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, New York

Divya Chandra is the Director of BooGio11 Productions and member of the "Happy to Help Theatre Company". Her explorations have led her to the stage, to dancing, singing, theater movement, yoga and energy work. Her journey as an actor, director & playwright has given her a unique eye and an understanding in to the limitations we put on ourselves. As an actor, Divya is committed to work on projects that break the certified notions of glam and affectation prefixed with the profession, framing new foundations of transformative-mission oriented art.

As a writer & director she aims to create work that transcends cultural confines in story-telling, co- creating opportunities for like-minded artists to explore and re-define ‘performance’ as a movement for self-discovery & empowerment. Her goal has been to spread awareness about our relationship to the environment, responsible advertising & the changing role of women in the shifting paradigm of gender dynamics. Divya has worked on several Indian and international projects, collaborating with directors, filmmakers and artists to create conscientious work escalating both the ‘self’ and societal awareness.

Divya works out of New Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, London and New York.

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. K. Parthibaraja Director/Script Writer – Naataka Saalai theatre group, Tirupattur

Assistant Professor in tamil, SACRED HEART COLLEGE, Tirupattur-635601, Vellore Dist. TAMILNADU. Area of specialization: Literary criticism, Folklore, Theatre History. Published 10 books, 42 articles in Tamil.

Dr. Prakash Garud Actor/Director/Writer, Dharwad

Dr. Prakash Garud took training in NINASAM theatre Institute and has been running theatre and puppetry organisation called PUPPET HOUSE in Dharwad since the last 15 years. He is a theatre actor & Director, practising leather shadow puppetry, and he also works in Art education programs for children and teachers.

No bio available.
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.

Gerish Khemani Actor / Director, Mumbai

Gerish, a Mass Media graduate has been determinedly pursuing theatre since 5 years. Having acted in a couple of productions (namely Once Upon A Tiger, Arabian Night, Look Back in Anger, Tukra's dream, Three Short Plays by Ranjit Hoskote), and having directed school and college productions, he regards himself as a hungry theatre practitioner who is in quest of self-fulfillment through stage, which to him is a familiar parallel universe.

Gunjeet Aurora Asst. Professor - Ambedkar University, Delhi

Gunjeet is an Assistant Professor in English in the School of Liberal Studies at Ambedkar University Delhi(AUD). Gunjeet has done a PhD from JNU on the literature based and emerging from the Indian Emergency of 1975-77. Gunjeet teaches Drama: Text and Performance at the Masters level and is deeply interested in studying theatre from the perspective of performance and cultural studies. Other areas of interest are cultural studies, literary theory and contemporary Indian History and Politics.

Hans Kaushik Actor/ Designer, Chennai

I have been practicing theatre since 1980 in various capacities, as actor, general dogsbody, designer of sets and props, puppetmaker/performer and artistic director as well as a host of things that a theatre person in India does.. I work a lot with young people and with children to introduce the idea of theater as creative tool.

Himanshu Burte Architect/Writer, TISS, Mumbai

Architect, writer, and currently, faculty at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, Himanshu Burte is the author of 'Space for Engagement: The Indian Artplace and a Habitational Approach to Architecture' (Seagull Books, 2008). A former Fulbright Fellow, he has written extensively on architecture and urban issues. He has been active in catalysing public discussion around architectural and urban issues, including two conferences on theatre architecture (co-convened with Atul Kumar) at Prithvi Theatre over 2003-04.

Iain Mackintosh Designer of Theatre Spaces, UK

After Oxford University Iain Mackintosh, while a stage manager at the Oxford Playhouse, cofounded the Prospect Theatre Company and took 75 productions to 125 theatres in 21 countries. This provided insights into the design of theatrespace to which he turned in 1973. Designs originated include the Cottesloe at the National Theatre, the Glyndebourne Opera and Hall Two at the Sage Gateshead. He is an author of books on theatre architecture and history and has lectured at 17 universities and 41 conferences in Europe, North and South America, India, Asia and Australia. He has curated exhibitions on theatre painting and theatre architecture in London and for the British Council at Prague and worldwide. In 1999 he received, on behalf of Glyndebourne, the Gold Medal for Theatre Architecture at the Prague Quadrennial and the annual Cascieri Medal in the Humanities at Boston, Massachusetts. In 2008 he was made one of ten Fellows of the Association of British Theatre Technicians and the only one for his “outstanding contribution to Theatre Design”.

Indira Chandrashekar Publisher – Tulika Books, Delhi

Indira Chandrasekhar is a publisher working with Tulika Books

No bio available.
James Yarker Artistic Director - Stan's Cafe

James is Artistic Director of Stan's Cafe, a company he co-founded in 1991 to devise and tour original theatre. Since then the company has performed in a wide range of traditional and non-traditional venues across the UK and around the world. They have an excellent reputation for inventive work in schools and in 2009 opened @ A E Harris, a theatre venue within a metal working factory.

No bio available.
Jayachandran Palazhy Artistic Director/Dancer/Choreographer– Attakalari, Bangalore
No bio available.
Jean Guy Lecat Technical Director / Space Designer, Paris

Technical director and space designer for many directors and the last 30 years with Peter Brook, Jean-Guy Lecat was charged particularly with research and the transformation or creation of more than 200 spaces throughout the world* A book that tells his work with P. Brook to transform spaces around the world is published: “The Open Circle” A. Todd J.G. Lecat – Faber and Faber. “El Circulo Abierto” Alba editorial, s.l.u.

He designed recently in Madrid the set, costumes and lighting for Strindberg play “Miss Julie” - A set in paper and lights for  “Himalaya”  a Dance Company in Montreal - Set for Thomas Bernhard’s play “Der Theatermacher” in Lisbon - The set of the Operetta “La Périchole” - In Dublin the set of “Titus Andronicus” - In Lisbon “Othello” by Shakespeare, Set, costums and lights for “Collected Stories” by D. Margulies in spring 2006 – Set for Mahagonny by Brecht in Madrid in September 2006 – Set for The Tempest by Shakespeare in Glasgow in October 2006 - A ballet in India in November 2006. The opera The Clemence of Titus  by Mozart in Lisbone.

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.

Jesudoss John Director/Actor/Playwright, Chennai
No bio available.
Joerg Esleben Professor of German - University of Ottawa, Canada

Joerg is an Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His research focuses on intercultural studies and specifically on cultural relations between Germany and India. He has published on the reception of Goethe's 'Faust' in Canada and of Kalidasa's 'Sakuntala' in Germany. At present, he is working on a collaborative research project about the work of East German theatre director Fritz Bennewitz in India.

K S Karuna Prasad Actor – Moonram Arangu, Madras

K S Karuna Prasad was with Koothu-p-Pattarai from 1984 to 1990 and started his own group, Moonram Arangu in 2003. He has worked with all the leading Tamil theatre groups and theatre directors. Presently, he enjoys working with schools and colleges and has done a lot of children’s theatre.

K. C. Manavendranath Director/Performer/Trainer, Thrissur District

Born in Chennai 06/02/1954;Don Bosco Matriculation School 1970;Loyola College PUC -1971; College of Engineering(Mech)1971-76; Artistic Director -The Poor Theatre, Chennai 1973-81;Production Engineer-Enfield India 1978-1981; Guest Lecturer(Movement & Voice), School of Drama, University of Calicut 1981-1983; Reseach & Artistic Director -Ankanam Theatre Group 1983 onwards; Junior Fellowship- Dept of Culture,Ministry of HRD 1984 -1986, Ford Foundation Fellowship in Theatre 1984 -1986; Director - Ankanam Theatre Group's Actor Training Laboratory (The Ford Foundation Institutional Grant) 1991-1999; Senior Fellowship in Theatre 1993 -1996 (Dept of Culture, Ministry of Culture); Senior Fellowship in Theatre from Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, 2003 -2005, Presently engaged in a project -"Traditions Lost, Found and Transformed through Contemporary Myths, Metaphors and their Double"

K.G. Sreedhar Architect, Tirthahalli, Shimoga

KG Sreedhar practices architecture in a small town called Tirthahalli in Shimoga District, Karnataka, doing natural agriculture. They grow Arecanut, Pepper and Cocoa.

Kesavan Nambudiri Festival Co-ordinator - ITFOK, Kerala

Kesavan is into theatre documentation. He writes on theatre in Malayalam. He is the coordinator for 3rd and 4th editions of International Theatre Festival of Kerala. Associated with Mr. Abhilash Pillai in the Circus Project. Associated with Attakkalari Center for Movement Arts, Bangalore for its forth coming projects in Kerala.

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.

No bio available.
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.

Kuljeet Singh Creative Director - Atelier Theatre, Delhi

Creative Director at Atelier Theatre, a New Delhi based Theatre (www.atelierexpressions.com). Interested in Campus Theatre in particular.

M.R.Rakshith Professor, Bangalore

MK Rakshith teaches English at a college in Bangalore. He is interested in literature, music and cinema. He does translations from Kannada into English and vice versa. He occasionally reviews books and participates every year in the Ninasam Culture Course.

Mallika Taneja Actor/Director - Tadpole Repertory, Delhi

Mallika Taneja is a Delhi based theatre artiste. She is a member of the Tadpole Repertory, one of the city’s most prominent groups, and the associated Tadpole Artists Collective. She is also actively involved in programming intimate and offbeat performances for alternative spaces in South Delhi. Mallika is also an ATSA Fellow for the year 2012-13.

Mangai Director/Actor/Teacher, Chennai
No bio available.
Manish Mitra Theatre Activist, Kolkata
No bio available.
Mary Thomas Junior Programme Officer, Rights and Citizenship & Expression and Engagement – Hivos, Bangalore
No bio available.
Mathura D Kalauny Writer/Director - Kalayan Theatre Group, Bangalore

Born in 1947 in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Worked as Research Manager in ITC's R&D, Lives in Bangalore, and devotes his time in writing, theatre and training youngsters in the art of theatre. He founded Kalayan Theatre Group 24 years ago in 1988. Since then he has produced and directed 24 plays under Kalayan banner. His has written 9 full length plays, 12 short plays, 3 audio plays. He has also authored 4 novels, and more than 150 short stories which have appeared in all major Hindi publications of the country. He has done poineering work in putting Hindi in the Web. He started a webzine Kalayan Patrika in 1999 serving tasteful Hindi literature to the readers from the estblished and upcoming Hindi authors.

Milena Dragićević Šešić | Head of UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy & Management, Belgrade

Milena Dragićević Šešić is the Head of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management and a professor of Cultural Policy, Cultural Management, Cultural and Media studies at the University of Arts in Belgrade. She was advisor to the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Serbia (2006-7) and has worked as an expert for several international institutions, including UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the European Cultural Foundation, the Open Society Institute, ENCATC, the Marcel Hicter Foundation, Pro Helvetia and the British Council. Professor Dragićević Šešić is the author of 15 books and more than 100 essays on a wide range of subjects, including arts management, cultural policy and intercultural relations and has been involved in more than 50 projects in cultural policy and management in South East Europe but also in EU member States and other countries in Europe, the Mediterranean, Caucasus and Central Asia and India.

MK Raina Director/Actor, Delhi/Kashmir

M. K. Raina graduated from National School of Drama in 1970 with Best actor award. Since 1972 he has been freelance theatre worker and film person, working all over India in many languages and with many traditional forms. His association with the rural and urban theatre across the country has developed into a unique style, where both forms blend together and yet are rich with contemporary meaning and significance. As an actor, he has worked in more than a hundred plays. He has directed several memorable productions like Kabira Khada Bazar Mein, Karmawali, Lower Depths, Pari Kukh, Kabhi Na Chooden Khet and The Mother; Andha Yug, which he directed was performed in Berlin and the Festival of India in the USSR. He also produced Jasma Odan at Hawaii University in 1986. Shri Raina has conducted many theatre workshops and acted and directed in a number of feature films including 27 down, Satah Se Uthta Aadmi, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla, Tamas, Titli, Genisis, Tarang, Ankur Mayna Kabutar etc. He has been making documentary films for many years. His latest documentary Sacred Dances at Hemis Festiual has been made for Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. He has been honoured with the Sanskriti Samman in 1980, the Sahitya Kala parishad Award in 1981, Best Director of the year by West Bengal Government 1982, the Best Director's award of Punjabi Akademi, Delhi in 1987. Shri M.K. Raina received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1995 and the Swarna Padak from Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir in 1996 for his contribuition to Indian Theatre.

Besides bcing a practing actor/director in theatre and media, he is known also as a cultural activist.

Mohd. Hammad Farooqui Director- Doon School, Dehradun
No bio available.
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.

No bio available.
N. Manu Chakravarthy Professor of English, Bangalore

N. Manu Chakravarthy teaches English at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels at Bangalore. He writes on cinema, music, feminism, politics, cultural theory. He has published books on cultural theory and cinema. He has won the Swarna Kamal Award for the Best Film Critic awarded by the President of India and was a member of the jury for the National Film Awards in 2011 and was a member of the international jury at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF 2012). His book "Maadhya Marga" (on cinema and cultural theory) was given the V.M.Inamdar Award by the Govinda Pai Memorial Research Institure, Udupi.

Naresh Narasimhan Architect, Bangalore

Naresh Narsimhan is an architect practising in Bangalore and has been involved in many projects around theatrical and cultural spaces over the years.Projects include a studio and art gallery for MF Husain (Husain Sankalana) Bangalore and more recently the National Gallery of Modern Art in Bangalore. He has also designed the sets for many theatre productions a while ago.

Narippatta Raju Director/Actor, Kerala

Working as a Director and Actor, mostly concentrated in the rural areas of Kerala. Since '85 directed an number of major plays in different south Indian languages. After the graduation from School of Drama, Calicut University, participated as a resource person for many different theatre workshops. Worked as an Actor and Choreographer in a handful of productions at Scandinavia in the beginning of 90s. In the early years achieved training in Kathakali, the classical traditional dance theatre of Kerala.

Nataraja Honavalli Theatre School Principal, Tumkur
No bio available.
Niloufer Sagar Program Associate - SRTT

Niloufer Sagar is currently working as part-time Program Associate with the Arts and Culture cell of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, a funding agency. She was with the management of the Jaipur Heritage International Festival from July 2004 to March 2006. She has also done Stage Management and Production Control for RAGE Productions, an English theatre company in Bombay, from 1995 to 2002 (part-time) and full time from May 2003 to July 2004. Productions include I’m not Bajirao, Six Degrees of Separation, Going Solo, Jesus Christ Superstar, Going Solo 2: Living on the Edge, Love Letters, Class of ’84, Pune Highway and Hard Places. She has also done production control for Writers’ Bloc, a festival of new Indian writing produced by Rage, programme Co-ordination for the Jindal Arts Creative Interaction Centre of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, theatre Programming Co-ordination for the National Centre for the Performing Arts from October 2001 to March 2003, and various other freelance jobs and volunteer activities in theatre programming and management.

Niranjani Iyer Actor/Dancer, Delhi, Madras, Paris

Performer / director, Niranjani been living and working between France and India for the past 11 years. Trained in physical theatre, movement, mask and clown. Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Theatre du Soleil among others. Niranjani has also worked in forum theatre, childrens theatre, etc. Currently visiting faculty at NSD.

Nirmala Ravindran Writer/Director/Producer - Just Theatre, Bangalore

Nirmala Ravindran is a writer, theatre director and producer. She has been a writer with India Today Magazine for eight years, writing on art and culture. She has directed plays for children and adults and conducts theatre, arts and writing workshops in Bangalore. Recent productions from her company Just Theatre include Manav Kaul's Five Grains of Sugar and Park, Bhisham Sahni Leela Nandlal Ki and Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler.

P Rajagopal Director/Actor – Kattaikuttu Sangam

The foundation of the Tamil Nadu Kattaikkuttu Kalai Valarchi Munnetra Sangam (the Sangam for short), a union to promote the economic and artistic interests of the players, originated through the work of P. Rajagopal and Hanne M. de Bruin. P.Rajagopal is an actor, director and playwright. He comes from a family of Kattaikkuttu actors and musicians.

Pauline Ross Founder – Playhouse Theatre and Community Arts Centre, UK

Pauline founded The Playhouse Theatre and Community Arts Centre in 1992 in an attempt to provide a creative refuge from the Northern Ireland Troubles, for the many not the few, as a necessity for quality of life not a luxury with an ethos of Art for all as a basic human and civil right. Within recently restored Georgian buildings, formally two old redundant Convent Schools fronting onto her City’s Historic Walls are housed a 200 seater Theatre, Dance Studio, Contemporary Art Gallery, Actors’ Studio and Community Rooms. Using Gandhi’s maxim, they ‘think globally and act locally’ Currently they have three major International Artist in Resident Programmes running simultaneously. In 2000, Pauline was awarded an MBE from Queen Elizabeth the second for her services to the communities of Northern Ireland.

Payal Wadhwa Scenographer, London

Payal Wadhwa is a scenographer and performance practitioner based in London. She writes, alongside for theatre and performance journals as well as dabbles in playwriting - often for the site specific work she has created in the last couple of years. Her work involves an emphasis on visual storytelling and work with narratives, structures and immersive environments and she is perpetually seeking projects that allows her to bring my interests in storytelling, museums, architecture, food, Kathak and writing, together.

Pragatheeswaran Actor, Pudukottai
No bio available.
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.

Praveen Bhole Director/Designer/Playwright - Lalit Kala Kendra, Pune

Dr. Praveen Bhole, who professes theatre at Lalit Kala Kendra, Gurukul, University of Pune, Pune is belongs to the unique species who is academician and practitioner in theatre arts. Basically he is theatre director and versatility is the keyword of his directional ventures. The plays directed by him encompass from ancient Greek, Sanskrit, Elizabethan, Commedia dell’Arte, Indian folk to contemporary. Besides directing, he is set-light designer and playwright too. He has penned ‘History of Indian Theatre’ (2010) and completed his research for Ph.D. in ‘Acting-Styles’(2008).

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.

Pravin Shekhar Director, Allahabad

Pravin Shekhar, National Award & State Honour recipient. Theatre is his passion and priority which has never changed in last two decades but he is a multifaceted person. His zeal is that of an cultural activist when he teaches nuances of theatre to youngesters, he is a master craftman when he works on designing and directing a play, he is just an enthusiast in the company of great masters of the discipline, he is a reviewer and critic at par when writing for newspapers and magazines as understands well how to communicate with masses about folk, art, music, theatre, culture, film or literature.

Preethi Athreya Dancer/Choreographer, Chennai

A Chennai-based contemporary dancer, Preethi Athreya trained in Bharatanatyam under the Dhananjayans. She holds a post-graduate degree in Dance Studies (Laban Centre, London, 2001). She is a recipient of the Charles Wallace India fellowship in 2000 and the APPEX (Asia Pacific Performance Exchange) residency in 2010.

Preethi has been working with well-known choreographer, Padmini Chettur in Chennai since 1999. Her solo creations are Kamakshi (2003) Inhabit (2006), Porcelain (2007) Pillar to Post (2007) and Sweet Sorrow (2010). Her review of Belgian choreographer, Michel Laub’s work, Total Masala Slammer was published in the Dance Research Journal, New York, in 2004.

Preethi has given workshops for Prithvi theatre, Mumbai (2006-2011), classical dance students in Paris, France (2007-2011) and Theatre Garasi, Jogjakarta, Indonesia (2010).

Preeti Gaonkar Project manager - British Council

Preeti works as Project Manager with the British Council in the Arts department – leading on theatre projects.

R.V.Ramani Documentary Filmmaker, Chennai

RV Ramani is a Documentary Filmmaker, based in Chennai. He has dealt with a wide range of subjects in my films, seek various aspects of expression. He is also a Cinematographer for many documentaries, shorts and a few features. He has done Lighting Design for many theatre productions. Presently he is working on many documentaries, one of them is a film on the theatre group KPP.

Rajashree Ph.D Student, Bangalore

I am a Research(PhD) student with a Masters in Communication. Passionate about acting (Theatre and TV) and Dancing, I'm involved with various teams and productions in Kannada for the last 13years. I also like photography, working with multimedia, organising, designing, experimenting and travelling.

Rajendra Nathan Proramme Officer – HIVOS

Rajendran Nathan works in Hivos as a Programme Officer with sectoral responsibilities for the Human Rights and Democratisation and the Arts & Culture programme portfolios for India. Hivos is a Dutch development organization with its Head Office in The Hague. The India Regional Office is based in Bangalore. At a personal level he has been active in the Trade Union and cultural organizations.

Rajini Garud Actor/Designer/Organiser, Puppet House, Dharwad

Rajani took training in NINASAM theatre Institute and is now running theatre and puppetry organisation called PUPPET HOUSE in Dharwad since the last 15 years. She is a Theatre actress & costume designer, practicing leather shadow puppetry and also working in Art education program for children & teachers.

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.

Ramachandran Director – Keli, Mumbai

Ramachandran is founder and Director of Keli, an organisation dedicated to the preservation and propagation of the traditional and classical art forms of India, Kerala in particular. Keli is now in its 20th year of activity, and has enjoyed years of collaboration with Prithvi Theatre. Ramchandran is also an independent documentary filmmaker – KAALAM, his debut film was on the art and life Appu Marar, a traditional percussion performer from Kerala. He has made “SIKHI”- a film on the role of women in Kudiyattam, ‘SAAMAM’- a film on the late Karnatic maestro M.D.Ramanathan, “Pranathi ‘on percussion performer Peruvanam Kuttan Marar.

Ranjana Dave Dancer/Writer, Mumbai

Ranjana Dave is a dancer and writer based in Bombay. She completed her postgraduate studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi. She works on Pad.ma; her current research interests lie at the intersection of performance and film.

Romi Khosla Architect, Delhi

Romi Khosla is a very well known architect with an international reputation . His buildings have been written about extensively and selected for international awards. He is also the author of three books and writes and lectures extensively in India and abroad and has advised UNDP,UNESCO, The Aga Khan Foundation and other international organizations.

Romila Thapar Historian, Delhi

Romila Thapar, Historian of Early India, trained at London University, taught at Delhi University and subsequently at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, where she is now Professor Emeritus of History. She has researched various aspects of the early past and is also interested in the dialogues between the past and the present.

Rustom Bharucha Writer/Director/Critic, Kolkata

Rustom Bharucha is an independent writer, director, dramaturg and cultural critic based in Kolkata. He is the author of several books including Theatre and the World, The Question of Faith, In the Name of the Secular, The Politics of Cultural Practice, Rajasthan: An Oral History, and Another Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin. An active participant as director and teacher at the Ninasam Theatre Institute between 1986-2000, he has served as the Project Director for Arna-Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan and as Festival Director of the Inter-Asian Ramayana Festival at Adishakti, Pondicherry, among other grassroots cultural initiatives.

Sachin Kamani Theatre Administration - The Comany Theatre, Mumbai

Sachim Kamani has worked as the administrative manager with The Company Theatre since its inception. He also operates as TCT's tour manager, organising and facilitating performances in India and abroad. Sachin is now the chief project manager for the company theatre workspace, handling public relations as well as fund raising and distribution.

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 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.

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.

Samvartha PhD student - JNU, Delhi

A Social Work graduate and a post graduate in Mass Communication. Currently a research student in Theater and Performance Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Has submitted his M.Phil dissertation 'Rise of Samudaaya: Street Theater Movement in Karnataka'. Worked with Manipal University, as a faculty in Mass Communication and in The Hindu as a reporter earlier.

Sanjay Bhangar Web Developer - CAMP, Mumbai

Sanjay Bhangar is a writer and software developer who lives in Mumbai. He is a co-founder of CAMP (http://camputer.org), and has been involved with the pad.ma project since its inception. He is a big believer in the open-source software development model. He is currently working on a few web-based projects including a web-to-print publishing platform, a resource site for theatre in India, and online mapping and indexing tools.

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.

Sankar Venkateswaran Artistic Director - Theatre Roots & Wings, Thrissur

Born in 1979, Sankar graduated from Calicut University School of Drama & Fine Arts with a first rank in theatre direction (2002) and completed three year intensive training at the Theatre Training and Research Programme, Singapore (2006). In 2007, he founded Theatre Roots & Wings and is currently the artistic director. Sankar is also an actor, music composer, and a dramaturg. His major appearences as an actor includes 'Performing Women - Medea, Jocasta, Clytemenestra' - Dir. Abhilash Pillai, 'Singapore Beckett Project' - Dir. Philip B Zarrilli, Patricia Boyette, Ohio Impromptu - Dir.Prabhath Bhaskaran. Sankar teaches acting and gives theatre making workshops for Theatre Professionals Pvt Ltd, Mumbai since 2008. He was invited to give a workshop in Japan by Ku Na'uka theatre company in 2002.

Sathya Prakash Vanarasi Architect, Bangalore

Architect - designing, teaching, writing, theorising - among the theatre audience for over 30 years - designed auditorium for music & dance at NBCLC, for general events at Udayabhanu Kala Sangha, Open Air Theatre at Melukote - designed full pledged theatre at Bellary, conceptualising a building for a theatre museum, submitted concepts for theatre complex - keen to learn about designing more appropriately.

Satish Alekar | Playwright, Pune

A distinguished professor at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Satish Alekar is a Marathi playwright, actor and director. He was among the founder members of the Theatre Academy, Pune. Later, he headed the Lalit Kala Kendra of Pune University for about a decade.

Seema Nair Programme Officer – Hivos, Bangalore
No bio available.
Shaina Anand Filmmaker/Artist/Co-Initiator - Camp/ Pad.ma, Mumbai

Shaina Anand is a filmmaker and artist, a co-initiator of CAMP and Pad.ma - an online video archive. In 2001, she founded ChitraKarKhana, for experimental media. Her recent works continue to be informed by an interest in information politics, and by a critique of documentary film. Her interventionist projects have created new assemblies from within the terrains of operation of contemporary media: television, cable TV, surveillance infrastructures, video archives - towards further possibilities for the image and narrative. camputer.org | pad.ma | chitrakarkhana.net

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"

Sharvari Sastry | Theatre Administration - ITF, Mumbai

Sharvari Sastry is the Project coordinator of the India Theatre Forum website, an initiative of the ITF. She was formerly the Executive Editor of PTNOTES, Prithvi Theatre's monthly newsletter, and was involved with Theatre Professionals, a theatre company dedicated to professionalizing and improving the standards of practice for Theatre in India. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Chicago, where her research focuses on the intersection of print and performance within the field of Indian theatre.

Sheena Khalid Actor/Director/Workshop Coordinator, Mumbai

Sheena is an actor working in Mumbai. She has also worked as a workshop co-ordinator for the Acting Workshops Program at Theatre Professionals. More recently she has been involved as a assistant director on a small pilot project organised by Theatre Professionals.

Shubhra Tandon Ghosh Journalist, Mumbai
No bio available.
Shuchi Vora Student - TISS, Mumbai
No bio available.
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.

Srijith Sundaram Actor – Moonram Arangu, Chennai

Srijith Sundaram is an actor with Moonram Arangu, a theatre group based in Chennai.

Steven Brett Director - Nightingale, UK

Steven has worked across a broad and varied spectrum of job descriptions within the theatre. He began his professional career as a dancer with Nederlands Dans Theatre and Rambert Dance Company where he remained beyond his on-stage career as a rehearsal director and then Associate Artistic Director under Christopher Bruce. He then moved to the British Council where as Drama and Dance Projects manager for Western Europe, Latin America, Southern Africa and Australia and New Zealand he instigated projects of varying scales across dance, new writing, live art, site specific performance and most other theatre genres. In 2008 he joined Pacitti Company as Executive Producer where he produced SPILL Festival of Performance, the UK’s largest artist-led festival of liveart and experimental theatre. He has been a specialist advisor for dance Scottish Arts Council’s, has mentored several choreographers, sat on steering committees for Dance UK, created and hosted Rambert Dance Company's schools performance matinee, the template for which is still in use and was a part-time producer for dreamthinkspeak, the UK’s respected and renowned site-responsive theatre company. Steven is currently the director of the Nightingale, a small-scale artist development and performance venue which puts the artist at the centre of the conversation and is run on the ethos of 'Theatre can happen anywhere'.

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.

Sukracharjya Rabha Founder & Artistic Director - Badungduppa Kalakendra

Sukracharjya Rabha founded his theatre group, Badungduppa Kalakendra, a rural based theatre centre at his Rampur village in Goalpara of Assam in 1998 and made a mark as young talent early in his life. Under the guidance Sukracharjya Rabha, 25 artists stay in the Kalakendra round the year, spend their time in practicing the traditional movements leading them to become fully aware of the world without, the body and soul within, and training related research work. He has directed 18 plays in Rabha, Bodo and Nepali language. He is organizing research oriented theatre festival ‘ Under the Sal Tree Festival’ annually with his group and workshops for rural artists regularly. He received “ Bismillah Khan Yuba Puraskar” in Direction from Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi for the year2009 and “Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Kiran Puruskar” for his outstanding performance in the field of theatre for the year 2010.

Sumedha Raikar-Mhatre Theatre Critic/Writer/Journalist/Translator, Mumbai

Sumedha Raikar-Mhatre is a Mumbai-based senior theatre critic-columnist who has consistently chronicled theatre and performing arts-related developments in mainstream and niche media outlets for the last 23 years. With grassroots experience of acting in an all-women’s play “Mulgi Zhali Ho” which toured all over India, Sumedha is credited with a keen eye for the theatre arts. Proficient in English, Hindi, Marathi and Urdu, along with working knowledge of Gujarati and Bengali, Sumedha can appreciate the multi-lingual theatres of India. Her fortnightly column on Marathi theatre in the Time Out magazine brought home her abilities to capture the trends in the local theatre landscape. While regularly writing on the local theatre industry, she is positively connected with the international theatre space as well. In 2008, she visited the Avignon Theatre Festival in France, before which she has witnessed American theatre in New York and Seattle.Sumedha works as language editor in the American Center, the cultural affairs wing of the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai. Before starting as the language editor-media advisor, Sumedha was a full-time journalist with newspapers like Indian Express, Mid-day and The Sunday Observer. Some of her stories in these papers, particularly the ones on State-sponsored censorship on political plays and trend pieces on the surge of porn plays, has won her a reputation of a candid theatre critic who calls a spade a spade. Sumedha travels extensively in and out of India to absorb theatre-related trends. She reviews and comments on plays in publications like Mumbai Mirror, Time Out, PT Notes and websites like Mumbai Theatre Guide Weekly. She also writes on regional cinema and the Marathi literary landscape. Apart from being a theatre critic, she is a bi-lingual freelance writer and translator-interpretor. She has so far translated two Marathi non-fiction books into English, one of which is due for release in January. She has contributed to two books on Indian theatre, Satyadev Dubey: A Fifty-Year Journey Through Theatre and Pathfinders: a coffee table book on the pioneers in Indian arts. She has been a member of the jury in different theatre festivals like the Thespo Youthfest. As part of her programming work in the American Center, Sumedha did a dramatic reading of the Marathi rendering of President Obama’s Dreams From My Father. She has been a guest faculty at various journalism institutes where she lectured on theatre appreciation. Sumedha has been a guest speaker at various seminars arranged by Mumbai’s Prithvi Theatre and the National Center for the Performing Arts.

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’.

Sunil Shanbag | Theatre Director/Producer- Arpana, Mumbai

Sunil Shanbag is a Mumbai-based theatre director and producer, and the artistic director of the Arpana theatre company. Over the past twenty years he has established a style that uses strong original texts, innovative staging techniques and powerful performances to make his theatre meaningful in today's times. His production of Ramu Ramnathan’s COTTON 56, POLYESTER 84 played at every major theatre festival and venue in the country. In 2010 his SEX, MORALITY AND CENSORSHIP developed in collaboration with writers Shanta Gokhale and Irawati Karnik introduced audiences to a contemporary “documentary theatre” style. DREAMS OF TALEEM, written by Sachin Kundalkar, was a critically acclaimed exploration of the idea of “being different” in modern Indian society. Sunil’s wider interests in theatre has seen him engage intensively in training, theatre in education, research, developing new and alternative performance venues in the city, writing on theatre, and mentoring young theatre directors, and writers. Sunil is also an award winning documentary filmmaker with several independent films to his credit.

Sunit Sinha Actor/Writer/Director - The Actor Factor Theatre Co., Delhi

Sunit Sinha is a Theatre Artist. He has been acting, writing and directing for the stage for the last 23 years. He started his journey in theatre with IPTA - Patna, and then later worked with Shri M.K.Raina, Jana Natya Manch and Yatrik Theatre Group in Delhi; and with Shri Atul Kumar of The Company Theatre in Mumbai. In December 2006, he co-founded 'The Actor Factor Theatre Company', a Delhi-based theatre group with its strong focus on the exploratory nature of work. He is also an Independant Filmmaker.

Sunitha Rajagopalan Architect, Bangalore

Sunitha has been a member of Bangalore Little Theater for the past four years, since she is a community-theater enthusiast and believe in its uniquely positive place in today’s society. She is an Architect based in Bangalore with my focus on optimum use of material.

Swar Thounaojam Director/Playwright, Bangalore

Swar Thounaojam is a Bangalore-based playwright and theatre director. Turel, Dear Dirty, Opposite Day, Fake Palindromes and Lucky Lobster are some of her plays. Fake Palindromes has been published by Pratilipi. She is a Charles Wallace India Trust awardee and a recipient of the Robert Bosch Art Grant 2010. She was a resident at The International Playwrights’ Residency, Royal Court Theatre, London 2010. She has worked extensively in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Munich. She now runs her own theatre project FewerEmergencies in Bangalore.

Swati Arora Ph.D Student - JNU, Delhi

Swati completed her Erasmus Mundus Masters in International Performance Research from University of Warwick, UK and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2010 and is now pursuing her doctoral study in the field of Theatre and Performance from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She conducts theatre-in-education workshops with school teachers and students, and undertakes organisational and production work for various media and creative houses. A member of International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR), she is also the Co-Convenor of Performances in Public Spaces, one of the Workings Groups at the IFTR annual conference. At present, she is an Assistant Professor in the English Department of Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi.

T Surendra Rao Actor/Organizer – Samudaya, Bangalore

T Surendra Rao is a proud participant of the month-long Statewide Cultural Jatha in Oct-Nov 1979 organised by Samudaya as an actor in street plays. In later years, shouldered responsibility of Bengaluru unit of Samudaya for some time and also took part in proscenium plays mostly as an actor. Now in 2006, elected as General Secretary of Karnataka Rajya Samudaya Samanvaya Samiti, a co-ordinating body of different units of Samudaya spread throughout the State of Karnataka. Samudaya conducted statewide cultural Jatha for two weeks on'hunger free Karnataka' in December 2009-January 2010 and again another Jatha in May 2011 against Corruption and Price Rise. Both the Jathas which were led by him and Prof R K Hudgi.were well received by people through out.

Tasneem Fatehi-Luktuke Teacher/Administrator - Theatre Professionals, Mumbai

Tasneem Fatehi is a graduate in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and has an Associate from the Trinity College of London – in Teaching Speech & Drama. She has 12 years of experience teaching drama and directing plays with children at several centers and schools in Mumbai. Over the years she has also been executive producer on several plays with Q Theatre Productions and The Industrial Theatre Company. She currently works with Theatre Professionals where she started 3 yrs ago running the Acting Workshops Program and overseeing and supervising the Drama in Schools Program.

Toral Shah Executive Producer/ Designer – Q Theatre Productions, Mumbai

Toral Shah is a full time member of Q Theatre Productions since 2001. She works as an executive producer, production manager, designer and administrator for the organization. She is one of the core members of Thespo - an all India youth theatre movement.

TP Ashoka Professor of English

A literary critic having published about thirty books in kannada; columnist in a kannada daily and monthly; He has conducted about three hundred short term workshops in literature, film and theatre appreciation.

V. Ashok Singh Manager - Chennai Kalai Kuzhu, Chennai

V. Ashok Singh is the manager of Chennai kalai kuzhu in Chennai. He is an actor and director of street plays, and is very interested in alternate theatres.

No bio available.
Ved Segan Architect, Mumbai
No bio available.
Veenapani Chawla Artistic Director - Adishakti Theatre Laboratory, Pondicherry
No bio available.
Vidyadhar Date Journalist/Critic, Mumbai

Vishyadhar Date is a journalist. He worked with the Times of India in Mumbai for over three decades and wrote on various issues including theatre, politics, architecture, labour and public transport. He is the author of a book Traffic in the era of climate change which questions the automobile-dominated pattern of development and suggests solutions. It is a multi disciplinary work which draws on a wide range of sources from theatre and film to politics and architecture.

Vidyaranya BS Journalist/Director, Bangalore

Graduate from Ninasam Theatre Institute. Worked in `Tirugata' Reportary as an Actor and Stage manager. Conducted Theatre workshops and directed plays in Banglore. Interested in different kinds of Acting and Acting processes. Journalist by profession, and has his own Publication and printing setup. Acted and Directed TV serials and Documentaries.

Vijay Padaki Theatre Educator - Bangalore Little Theatre, Bangalore

Vijay Padaki is a theatre educator. He has been active in the theatre for over 50 years, and has been a life member of Bangalore Little Theatre (BLT) since its inception in 1960. After several years in production activity as an actor, director, designer and manager, Vijay has shifted his interests to writing and training. He has written over 30 plays, produced widely in India and abroad. In addition, he has adapted and translated several Indian plays into English. Vijay is a psychologist and behavioural scientist by professional training, and has vast experience in management consultancy, research and training in the areas of Organisation and Institutional Development. Vijay bridges the realms of Management and Theatre in a lot of his work.

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.

Vikram Phukan Writer - Stage Impressions, Mumbai

Vikarm Phukan runs the theatre appreciation website Stage Impressions. He also writes occasionally for the stage, notably for Theatre Arpana.

Vinay Varma Actor/Director, Hyderabad

Untrained actor, voice actor, facilitator. Passionately involved with theater as actor and director. Does one-odd film now and then. Regularly lends voice. Conducts acting and voice workshops Doubles up as a Casting Director for films and ad-films. Trains corporates in voice and body language. Believes in learning through observation, and constantly evolving. Eager to promote new talent.

Visak VS Teacher, Trivandrum

Visak VS is basically a teacher of English in the Higher secondary section in Trivandrum. He is also doing Ph.D research on indigenous theatre of Kerala and Canada from a comparative perspective. He is doing research about the theatrical activities and the productions of the famous Malayalam dramatist and director Sri Kavalam Narayana Panikkar and the Canadian dramatist Sri Tomson Highway. The plays Avananvan Kadampa and Daiwathar of Kavalam, and The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips of Highway are the plays he has chosen for this study. The history, tradition, new trends of Indian theatre will also be referred to in passing in his work.

Vishnu Kolleri Architecture Student, Ahmedabad

Born in chennai, setlled in Vadodara Gujarat, Vishnu is studying architecture in Ahmedabad, currently in his final year, pursuing his bachelors thesis on the acoustics of the Koothambalam. He is a music enthusiast with a ear for sound, and plays bass guitar at an amateur level. He also enjoys working with his hands.

Zuleikha Chowdhury Theatre Director & Lighting Designer

Zuleikha Chaudhari is a theatre director and lighting designer. Her work is an investigation of the nature of performance. It explores and develops a series of questions to do with the interruption of the narrative structure, how images are constructed and experienced: what is the relationship of the text and performer, what is the dynamic between performer and space, how narratives are created and understood, and finally, what is the role of the spectator in the performative experience.

Her practice has developed over the past years into working with light structures/installations as explorations of space.She is interested in the nature of experience. Her installations engage with the question of how we experience and how the experience of experiencing can be created and communicated. Her installations are as much about an external landscapes as they are about internal geographies. They are as much about real spaces as they are about imagined/unreal ones.