That Theatre Life: Conversations with Theatre-makers who switched careers to make theatre

A couple of months ago, we decided to ask theatre-makers, what they were doing before they started doing theatre. This is a significant question in India. Here, by many standards, theatre is still a developing industry. We don't know the stories of too many theatre-makers who planned their careers in theatre and pursued them with the same zest that an engineer or architect would. There are no JEEs for acting and no coaching classes to prep you for esteemed institutions you probably only know…


On Originality: The 10 Commandments of Ethical Practice

This past weekend, the whos who of the performing arts community congregated at Harkat Studios. The point in contention: Whose play is it anyway? A coming together to discuss authorship, copyrights, and concepts of originality and inspiration in theatre and the other arts. This event coalesced out of the recent online furor on issues of giving credit within the theatre industry to work that was inspired by work already in existence. To know more about what started this, take a look at our…


On Originality: Insights from Jehan Manekshaw, Founder-Director of Drama School Mumbai

On the recent conversation in our community about originality, adaptation, translation, credit, plagiarism. Moving forward with honesty and integrity A few weeks ago Yuki Ellias posted a question on Facebook. You can read her entire post here. Yuki is a director, actor, pedagogue and one of the most respected theatre-makers in the industry. She spoke specifically about The Company Theatre’s Detective Nau Do Gyarah and its selection by the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) jury as a…


Between the Lines: Priyanka Babbar in conversation with Sunil Shanbag

Theatre-maker and story-teller Priyanka Babbar caught up with Sunil Shanbag between rehearsals and shows to talk about directing this year's DSM Production - Rakt Kalyan, his theatre practice and a few things in between. Image Courtesy: Indian Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty   PB- How was the directing experience at DSM? SS - Interesting, exciting... very rigorous and very demanding. On day one itself, I made it clear to the students that we are not going to hide behind the fact that…


Rakt Kalyan: DSM annual student production

This year's student production it Rakt Kalyan and has been directed by Sunil Shanbag. It is the Hindi adaptation of  Girish Karnad's Taledanda. And if you just did a backflip to see those two names together, we don't blame you! Taledanda is a significant piece of Postmodern Indian literature. Though set in 12th Century Karnataka, Taledanda was originally written in 1989 when the Mandal vs Mandir crisis was…


Modern theatre, Mumbai and Indian aesthetics

By Tanvi Parekh, kathak dancer and travel scribe   He shares a love-hate relationship with Mumbai, the city which is at the heart of most of his plays. She has been lighting, directing, and conducting workshops all across Mumbai. The two collaborated for Ambu and Rajalakshmi, officially. But unknown to Ramu, she has lit most of his play-productions for the past few years. Gurleen Judge and Ramu Ramanathan kick-start the Conversations@theDSM series, a celebration of the guru-shishya…


Fascinating Transition: A short conversation with DSM's Design Faculty

The new year at DSM always starts with Design. The students experience a fascinating transition from actor-focused training to larger elements of production. This year we had Ishita Doshi and Neeraja Patwardhan come together for the first time as design faculty. They taught costume and set design to the 18 students of Batch 2018-19. Neeraja Patwardhan finished her Masters in Theatre from Lalit Kala Kendra, Pune. She also had an MFA in…


The Difference in Between: Madhyantar, a DSM student showcase

DSM Batch 2018 -19 Mumbai present an evening of new theatre Every year, students from the Post-Graduate Programme in Acting & Theatre-making at DSM, put together a student showcase. This is their first ever public performance and we call it Madhyantar.  A student showcase means the students write, direct, act in and stage-manage everything. They have help of course. This year, we had faculty member Kalliroi Tziafeta mentoring them for a week. DSM alumnus Harish Kulkarni…


The Stage is Materializing: Material and materiality in theatre

What do tea cups, salt shakers, Dame Judi Dench, and bits of PVC tubes all have in common? They have all played prominent roles in critically acclaimed and thought-provoking theatre around the world.   Material has always been part of the general world of theatrical performance, serving as props, sets, costumes, make up, lights and sound. Everything we see when we watch a play which isn’t a human body is technically “material” of course. Yet, when we speak of “Material Theatre”, we’re…


FLYING SOLO: Maya Krishna Rao in conversation with Nimi Ravindran

Loved and respected by theatre-makers across the country and abroad, the indefatigable Maya Krishna Rao continues to be an inspiration for the next generation of artists. Although we know of her as a powerhouse performer, Maya has juggled many hats over the years, including that of teacher, educator and mentor. Having premiered her latest show in Delhi she talks to Nimi Ravindran about life, work, politics and her new show, intriguingly titled: Loose Woman N: Solo performers often refer to…