Jehan leads design and implementation of the school’s courses in Acting and Theatre-making at Drama School Mumbai. He works collaboratively with a community of 35+ highly qualified practising theatre professionals who design and execute the schools collectively planned curriculum. He also directly mentors and supports a community of 90+ graduates of the school. He also builds partnerships across theatre institutions all towards the strengthening of training and skilling of practitioners in order to build a more robust ecosystem for the dramatic arts.
Jehan has taught at Ninasam, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, St. Xavier’s as well as Shinshu University, Japan, and NSD’s T.I.E division in Agartala.
For his contribution to the Indian theatre sector, Jehan has received Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, an award conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi the Indian government’s apex body for performing arts and culture. He is also a Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellow, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Irawati is a writer of short fiction, a playwright and a traslator. Her work also includes research and documentation of Indian Contemporary Art. She occasionally takes on work as an illustrator as well. Currently, she is working on a play that is an adaptation of Prithviraj Kapoor’s Kisan and Daya Pawar’s Baluta, co-produced by Prithvi Theatre and Bhasha Centre and directed by Abhishek Majumdar. Irawati writes in Marathi, Hindi and English.
Her plays include Gasha, Satellite City and C Sharp C Blunt. Her Marathi plays include Teech Ti Diwali, Mrugacha Paus, Vadani Kavala Gheta and Chhapa Kata which performed over 200 shows across Maharashtra. She was dramaturgist on the award winning Kaumudi and co-wrote Thook and Sex, Morality and Censorship.
Irawati’s translations have been published by Oxford University Press. She has been a resident writer at the international writers’ residency, Sangam House. She has received the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, the Vinod Doshi Fellowship, the Kathakar Shantaram Puraskar, the Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad Award, Maharshtra Natya Parishad Award, Anant Kanekar award, multiple META awards and the Zürcher Kantonalbank Patronage Prize.
Kallirroi Tziafeta was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She studied acting under Giorgos Kimoulis and Lecoq Pedagogy under Thomas Prattki. She has acted professionally since 2001 in Greece, U.K. and now in Mumbai.
As an actor, she has been part of productions like Comedy of Errors, the Trial and Oedipus Rex with Giorgos Kimoulis, Emotional Creature with Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, Nostalgia Brand Chewing Gum with Quasar Padamsee and Taming of the Shrew with Deshik Vansadia. She co-directed Panchatantra with Jhelum Gosalia and wrote, acted and directed Liú for Junoon theatre.
As a film and television actor, Kallirroi has been part of the teleseries Rani, Mahakumbh and Ashoka as well as appeared in films like Dil Dhadakne Do, Omertà, Karwaan, the Ashram and Pal Pal Dil ke Pas. Kallirroi was also part of TVF’s Tripling and the webseries Smoke.
Shernaz Patel is one of India’s leading actors with a vast ouevre critically-acclaimed theatre productions and films. In 2001, she was awarded the Charles Wallace scholarship which enabled her to do a Masters in Acting from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. She has worked with leading directors like Nasseruddin Shah, Vijaya Mehta, Toni Patel, Lillete Dubey, Rahul Da Cunha as well as Rehaan Engineer.
Some of her well-known productions include plays like Arms and the Man, Letters to my Daughter, Love Letters and The Class of ’84. Besides being a practitioner, Shernaz is also a keen supporter of the cause of theatre. In 1993, she formed the theatre company, Rage along with theatre veterans Rahul Da Cunha and Rajit Kapoor.
The company has not only produced famous productions like I am not Bajirao but is also involved in the pursuit of encouraging original Indian plays English. Rage’s Writer’s Bloc festival now takes place annually in collaboration with the British Council. Through it, select writers go through a residential workshop and their plays are then taken on by various directors to be professionally produced. Most recently, Shernaz was Head of Acting at Whistling Woods International School.
The Beginning of Character
Convenor – Kelewadi Nights
Tushar Mathew is a theatre maker, actor, and teaching artist.
From 2017-19, he worked at Dell’Arte as an Instructor (co-teaching games and sports, and the adaptation project) and Marketing Director, and was part of the Dell’Arte Company. He conceived, directed, and was one of the performers of the recurring annual event Stories in the Tent, a free-of-cost immersive night of storytelling that brought to life stories written by members of the community. He was also a mainstay at Dell’Arte’s cabarets, often as an MC.
In 2018, he co-founded the Otherland Theatre Ensemble with whom he has since created and performed two original shows. The first was Eli and The Bear. It toured to the California State Summer School for the Arts in L.A. in early 2018. The second was called Forgive Us, Gustavito. It won “Best of Fringe” at the Charm City Fringe Festival in Baltimore later that year. In late 2019, Tushar relocated to Auroville, Tamil Nadu, where he continued his training in the martial art form of Kalaripayattu. Here he created two more original shows. The first Finale opened at KalariGram’s annual festival Tantrotsav. The second was a solo show called A Good Neighbour, which opened at the event space ArtBrute.
Tushar is currently based in Bengaluru. Here is co-creating A Zoom Call Re: Birds, a show in collaboration with Indian Ensemble. He also teaches 7th and 8th-grade students about climate change and is making storytelling videos for children as a bear named Bumbles. He also continues to develop his solo show.
Anshuman is a Bangalore-based writer, a novelist, focusing on literary fiction as well as a published and award-winning playwright. As a theatre professional, he regularly works and collaborates with the Bhasha Centre and Indian Ensemble (Bangalore) as well as the Theatre Garage Project (Delhi).
His play Bully, which explores the notion of home, identity and inter-generational conflicts won the Hindu Metroplus Playwriting Award in 2014. In 2017, Anshuman founded an angel-funded startup to explore community television on the internet – programming of, for and by the community. White Box Live, the community and culture channel, produced over 200 shows and garnered more than 1.5 lakh organic followers on Facebook.
Currently, Anshuman is facilitating a 10-month residency playwriting workshop with Abhishek Majumdar.
Michel is a dancer, choreographer and Feldenkrais practitioner. He has studied Ballet and Contemporary Dance. He has worked as a professional dancer in different theatres and companies in France, Belgium and Switzerland. Since 1996 he has been the co-founder, dancer and choreographer of the dance company Morespace, Basel (Switzerland). In 2015 he founded the ONA association in Collioure (South of France). In the dance theatre movement, his solo work Le Corps Déporté, has been performed in Switzerland, France, Netherlands and Germany.
Since 2006, Michel has been regularly teaching Contemporary dance, Improvisation and the Feldenkrais method in India. His work has taken him to Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi and more, where he has also directed research workshops, residencies for artists and worked with children with special needs.
His choreographic work reveals a sensitive approach, often poetics of the dance and beyond only the physical aspect. In a constant search for a “true” gesture of expression, of a spontaneous movement between elaborated structure and improvisation, this approach opens a space where the interpreters can express and share their strength, as well as their fragility, in resonance with their hearing.
Chanakya is a director, playwright and educator. Over the last nine years, he has worked across various facets of theatre ranging from acting, writing, stage direction, theatre education and programming, operations and community outreach.
As the Artistic Director of Indian Ensemble, Chanakya oversees the planning, vision and interdisciplinary collaborations across the three main focus areas which drive the company’s philosophy – new performances, training and education, and outreach.
Along with his work in the theatre, he has also been working as a theatre facilitator and pedagogue since 2012. Chanakya enjoys working with children and enhancing their observation, critical thinking and application skills. Most of his work and practice has been with Head Start Educational Academy, a school based in Bangalore, where he continues to work there as a facilitator and pedagogue. As a director, his most recent credits include Girish Karnad’s Hayavadana, which he adapted and directed in Gujarati using elements of the popular folk form Bhavai; and Mi’raj, a play written by Nisha Abdulla that has run for the past year in alternate spaces in Bangalore.
His first play, Tales of Kutty, won the first runner-up at the Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Awards. In 2014, he received the Charles Wallace India Trust Award to study at LISPA, London, Most recently got a fellowship to attend the Summer Institute at Columbia Centre for Oral History Research, New York towards developing his first non-fiction book project.
Performance Practices: Suzuki Method of Actor training & Practice of Six ViewpointsContemporary
Akhshay Gandhi is an Artist-Practitioner working as director, actor & facilitator/researcher in Theatre & Performance.
With Suzuki Method & Viewpoints, at core of his practice, his personal work is articulated as Principles of Performance. Inspired by work of his teachers, Eugenio Barba & Odin Teatret (Denmark) and Anne Bogart & SITI Company (New York), he continues to research various aspects of what makes theatre an extraordinary experience.
He had been a recepient of the prestigious Tata Scholar Award and BITSAA 30u30 award. Akhshay was a Conservatory Artist with SITI Company, NY for a year.
He works with artists & non-artists to facilitate some of the finest techniques & artistic approaches for deep training, self exploration & creative endeavors.
His work has been performed at prestigious venues, including, Stanford University, UCLA, Spoken Fest, Mumbai International Storytelling Festival to name a few. Alumni of SITI Company, New York, Odin Theatre Laboratory, Denmark and BITS-Pilani, his interests are in performance practices & research. A practitioner of Suzuki Method and Six Viewpoints, he directs & performs, preferably through inter-disciplinary & collaborative approaches. He has been invited to share his thoughts at platforms like TEDx, Economic Times Summit, 505 Circle etc. He is the founder & Artistic director of Still Space Theatre, Bangalore.
Seeds of Performance: Pre-performative actor training
Psychophysical approach to training evolved from the practices of Michael Chekhov, Jerzy Grotowsky and Phillip Zarrilli among others
Anirudh Nair is a theatre practitioner based in New Delhi. He completed an MA in Theatre Practice under the guidance of Professor Phillip Zarrilli.
His training practices have also been shaped by four key collaborators whom he has worked with over the last decade –
-MOONFOOL and the ACTOR-CHORUS-TEXT (ACT) training – an international group of physical theatre artists led by British director Anna-Helena McLean (formerly of Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices, Poland). Productions include Romeo & Juliet (Berlin 2011), STORM (London 2013, Chicago 2014)
-THE CRYSTAL SHAKESPEARE ENSEMBLE – a London based Original Practices Shakespeare ensemble led by Ben Crystal. Productions include Pericles (Stockholm 2015), Henry V (London 2016), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wales 2018)
-WALKABOUT THEATRE and FIDES KRUCKER – A Chicago based physical theatre ensemble with whom he has been co-creating work since 2015. Productions include The Cure (Chicago 2016), The Raveling (Chicago 2018, 2019).
-FIDES KRUCKER, co-leader of the work, is a contemporary vocal practitioner from Canada with thirty five years of experience as a contemporary opera singer and a specialisation in sustainable vocal practice as the basis of creation.
-THEATRE RAW – led by Sankar Venkateswaran, with whom he has collaborated on three productions including The Water Station (India tour 2012, Japan 2016), Criminal Tribes Act (Munich, Zurich 2017, Beirut, Bombay 2018, Tokyo, Kyoto 2019)
He is also the co-founder of Guild of the Goat, a theatre company based in New Delhi. The Guild’s most recent work, Sonnets c.2019, was directed by Anirudh and has completed shows at the Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa and a run of shows in New Delhi. The play is a devised contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Sonnets as a site-specific, bilingual, promenade production set in a house in Delhi.
Hetal Varia is formally trained in Voice Studies and Indian classical singing. She practices her work as a voice coach and artist across the globe. With a twelve year long professional experience in Theatre, Live stage and Studio work as Singer-Actor, she is currently performing and developing her Voice Work in Mumbai with Artists and Corporates. Her clients range from actors, filmmakers, singers, advocates, radio jockeys, dancers, professors, students and other professional voice users. Some of her major projects include Radio Mirchi, Only Men Aloud (Welsh Male Choir) and dialect work on Mira Nair’s ‘A Suitable Boy’. As artistic director and founder of HV Voice Works, she is constantly researching and creating performances based on vocal explorations and music.
Hetal is a reciever of the Scholarship of Charles Wallace India Trust Awards, 2015/16. She is the only Indian to be invited to INV (International Voice Network) to share her research based work as a Masterclass. Also the only Indian to receive Diversity Scholarship to participate in VASTA Conference in 2018.
Most recently, Hetal served as the Voice and Accent Coach for the cast of A Suitable Boy that was released on Netflix earlier this year.
Mandar Gokhale is a yoga facilitator and actor based in Mumbai. He has been teaching yoga and physical conditioning at Drama School Mumbai for the past 7 years. As a yoga practitioner, he completed his training under guidance of Padmashri Sadashiv Nimbalkar.
Mandar extensively works in education and has been a drama teacher at MET Rishikul School, Bandra. He has been conducting body conditioning sessions at Neeraj Kabi’s Acting Workshop since 2005. He also conducts drama workshops for Quality Education Support Trust (QUEST) and TARAPA in Palghar District. Over a span of 9 years, he has directed over 16 Annual Day productions in various schools.
As an actor, he has been part of various productions like The Hunger Artist, Hamlet, Pillars of the Community, Kay Re Gotya, Rang Rangila Gittu Girgit, Numbers in the Dark, Black Bird 13, 60 Seconds Deep, Dirty Talk and the Boy Who Stopped Smiling.
Sheena Khalid is a theatre director, storyteller and actor based in Mumbai. She is a founding member of the theatre company, Patchworks Ensemble. At LISPA, she was a scholarship student for the Advanced Course.
With Patchworks, she has co-directed and co-devised the shows Ila, The Gentlemen’s Club AKA Tape, Fly By Night, and Shikaar. Ila is based on a lesser-known myth in the Puranas, about a king whose gender waxes and wanes in accordance to the moon. In 2016, Ila won the Laadli Award for Gender Sensitivity. Gentlemen’s Club AKA Tape is a unique cabaret-style theatre performance about the lives of various drag kings (a fairly unknown and unseen performance style in India). Sheena is also producer and performer in Fly by Night based on the phenomenon of jouhatsu or “evaporating people” in Japan.
Sheena is also a storyteller with Kommune, where she also works part-time. At Kommune, she is part of the curatorial team of Spoken Fest (Indian’s largest storytelling, spoken word and poetry festival). She has also directed and hosted events for Kommune. Sheena has spent a great deal of time exploring ideas of solo storytelling. She has developed modules which she now takes into classrooms.
She also conducts personal one on one sessions for private clients on public speaking and presentation making. More recently she has developed a workshop series called “Catalyst” which focuses on public speaking and confidence building skills for working women. She has been associated with Vice Media as a host of their Vice Talks Films. She is one of the five Fellows for the ‘Tendulkar-Dubey Fellowship for Young Theatre Artists of Outstanding Talent. In the summer of 2017, Sheena attended the ‘Lincoln Centre Directors Lab 2017’ in New York (fully funded thanks to the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts).
In her personal practice, Sheena Khalid continues to deepen her exploration into performances and stories about and by women. She strives to create content that is relevant, engaging and humorous.
Anuja Kale has completed her diploma in Fitness Training and has worked with several internationally-recognized fitness centres in the past.
She has worked in the field of theatre in various roles as an actor, director, project coordinator, etc. She is now working as an executive producer with RedNose Entertainment, which is a content creation company.
Elite Pro Fitness and Combat Sports was established by Internationally Certified Personal Trainers and Martial Arts Coachs Natique Husain and Dharmesh Patel. For more than 10 over years they have developed and programmed a variety of quality Fitness, Kickboxing and MMA exercise programmes for clients of all populations. Firmly rooted in Exercise Sciences and Martial Arts Principles, the mission for Elite Pro is to promote exercise and good health.
Geetanjali Kulkarni is an Indian theatre and film actress with over 20 years of experience. She has worked extensively in the Hindi and Marathi film industry and has won the Filmfare Marathi Critics Award for her portrayal of the public prosecutor in the much-lauded Marathi movie ‘Court’. Most recently she was praised for her role in Mukti Bhawan.
In addition to her work on stage and films, Geetanjali also runs Quest, an NGO dedicated to taking reading and theatre to some of Maharashtra’s most under-priviledged communities.
A Padmashree Award recipient, Satish Alekar is a veteran Marathi playwright with more than 45 years of theatre experience. Alekar started the Centre of Performing Arts at the Pune University. He was an adjunct professor for Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York as a Fulbright Scholar.
Rob Swain is a practicing theatre director and the Programme Director of the MFA Theatre Directing at the Deparment of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. Swain recently wrote a book based on his experiences as a theatre director and as a Programme Director, called, ‘Directing: A Handbook for Emerging Theatre Directors’. Swain has directed over 50 theatre productions and has won the Central TV Award for best production of a new play twice.
Padma Damodaran is a Mumbai-based actor, director, writer and trainer. She has worked across a range of plays, films, television and web series, both contemporary and classical, comic and tragic, scripted and improvised, in Hindi and in English. She recently set up her own theatre company, Red Earth Stories, and produced, directed and acted in their first production Yasmina Reza’s The Unexpected Man. Other plays she is currently involved in include Mahesh Dattani-directed play Mengoubi – The Fair One, where she plays one of the leads as well as Tamasha Theatre’s children’s play, Jhoom Jhoom Jhumpa. She also acts in Chuhal, written and directed by Manav Kaul. She also performs Malayalam stories as part of the multilingual storytelling show Qissebaazi, directed by Danish Hussain.
She has appeared in the television series Ishqbaaz which airs on Star Plus channel. She also appeared in the film Mantra, directed by Nicholas Kharkongar, the national award-winning short film Best Friends Forever, directed by Sandeep Modi and produced by Edumedia. She has worked in Sesame Street India, been a narrator for a BBC World documentary, and has been nominated twice for best supporting actress at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards.
Tushar is an actor, director and teacher, practising performance since 2003. He was Inlaks Shivdasani International Scholar and specilizes in Lecoq’s Pedagogy. Tushar has presented his work in at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as in England, Greece, Dubai, China, and India. His film credits include several Hindi films including the critically acclaimed Pink, and Beyond Blue which premiered at Marche du Film (Cannes Film Festival, 2015). He received a special mention as Best Actor at a festival in Rome; December 2015. Tushar is also guest faculty at National School of Drama, Delhi.
Anuradha Kapur is a former Director of the National School of Drama, New Delhi. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Award for Direction in the Theatre in 2004. She is one of the founder members of Vivadi, a working group of painters, musicians, writers and theatre practitioners, formed in 1989. Her theatre work has traveled to many countries including Germany, Japan, Brazil, UK, and Korea. In 2003, she curated the performance window for ‘Body.city: siting contemporary culture in India’, presented at the House of World Cultures, Berlin. She has also written a book titled Actors, Pilgrims, Kings and Gods: the Ramlila at Ramnagar.
Ramu Ramanathan is a playwright and director based in Mumbai. He has scripted notable plays such as Cotton 56, Polyester 84; Comrade Kumbhakarna; and Mahadevbhai.
Eight of his plays have been anthologised in the book 3, Sakina Manzil And Other Plays (Orient Blackswan/EFLU). He is also the author of the poetry collection My Encounters with a Peacock (Red River), and co-editor of Babri Masjid, 25 Years On… (Kalpaz).
Ramanathan writes on theatre and culture in newspapers and periodicals. He has been associated with the printing industry for three decades as a journalist. He is the editor of PrintWeek and WhatPackaging? magazines.
Yuki Ellias is an actor, director and corporate coach. She trained at the Jacques Lecoq School of Theatre in Paris and is a trained pedagogue from the London International School of Performing Arts. As an actress, she has performed in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Italy and India.
Her theatre company Dur Se Brothers has produced four shows including the multi-award winning play Elephant in the Room and Hello Farmaaish. She endeavours to make theatre for diverse spaces and diverse audiences. As a corporate coach she uses theatre art techniques for high impact communication initiatives in various organisations across the country. She recently gave a Ted Talk with her father on the Fine Art of Losing Money – about investing in creative projects and the value of it.
Deepal Doshi is an actor-creator, teacher based out of Mumbai. He has an MFA in Physical Theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, California. He is also trained in the Grotowski pedagogy of physical theatre in Sweden. His play, A Tale of Two Treaties has toured Sweden, USA, Canada, Bali and India.
His professional stage work in India includes Mahesh Dattani’s The Big Fat City, Where Did You Leave My Purdah & Dance Me To The End Of Love, Vikram Kapadia’s Merchant of Venice, Alok Ulfat’s Dulari Dhamal, Patchworks Ensemble’s ILA, Avishkar Theatre’s Chaar Don Tukde and NCPA’s production of Shakespeare’s Lucrece.
He wrote, directed and performed in original devised piece of Commedia Dell’Arte titled, It’s Not Waht You Tihnk which toured various theatre festivals in India. Deepal is a guest faculty member at The Drama School Mumbai where he teaches Improvisation, Character Study and Movement.
He is also a visiting faculty at The National School of Drama and Whistling Woods International teaching Commedia Dell’Arte
Kathryn has studied theatre for seven years in Chile, New York, and finally California, where she received her MFA in Ensemble-based Physical Theatre from Dell Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Upon moving to India she co-founded Madball Co. The company created and toured the masked Commedia shows “A Tale of Two Treaties” and “It’s Not Waht You Think”.
She then discovered the Michael Chekhov Technique and embarked on a three year journey to become a Certified Teacher by The National Michael Chekhov Association, USA. She has directed 5 years of student productions for local schools, including writing and directing 300 students in the original musical, Nachiketa, for Bombay Cambridge International. She continues to perform on stage in Poorbox Productions’ Vagina Monologues and in various films and television series.
Akshat Nigam holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature and has worked in the field of Arts Education for nearly a decade. He teaches Literature, Creative Writing and Communication. Akshat has been performing as a professional Storyteller for children and for adults since 2015. He debuted in ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’.
His current performance under the collective The Forty Thieves, called ‘Error 404: Life Not Found‘ opened in theatres in March 2016, while another show titled ‘An Uneasy Truce: Stories about Fear‘ opened in June 2016. In 2017, Akshat co-wrote ‘In Search of Dariya Sagar’, a play that won The Hindu Playwright Award for scriptwriting that year.
Amba – Suhasini K Jhala is a professional actor and theatre director. She graduated from the two-year Classical Acting course at LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) in 2009.
After her graduation, she worked in London for three years as a professional actor, voice artist and corporate role-player. She has been involved in theatre and acting for the last 17 years and has working experience in the different mediums of the performing arts i.e film, television, theatre, role play, script writing and radio. After completing her graduation Amba continued to work in London for another three years as a professional actor. She continues her overseas collaborations in the UK and US. She performed a three-week long run in Chicago this October of a play she devised with long time collaborators, Walkabout Theatre, with whom she has been working regularly in the US over the last 4 years. They are due to take their play to Toronto early next year.
Guild of the Goat is a theatre company founded by Amba-Suhasini K Jhala, Anirudh Nair and Pranay Manchanda. Amba is Artistic Director and co-founder of the theatre company ‘Guild of the Goat’ and directed their first play, Futureproof by Lynda Radley, in May 2017. Her directorial credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (2006), The Little Prince (2007), Agamemnon (2012), The Infant (2014), and Futureproof (2017). She is due to teach a course on Shakespearean Scene Study at The Drama School, Mumbai (India) in January 2019.
Amba is also a skilled theatre facilitator. The workshops she conducts are based on the various trainings she has received over the years. During her professional engagement in Chicago, she has delivered workshops at the University of Illinois, Chicago for the MFA, BFA and undergraduate students.
For close to a decade now, Amba has been working extensively, independently as well as with schools, running and designing bespoke theatre workshops for students of all ages. She continues this work with Guild of the Goat. The schools Amba has worked with include Shiv Nadar School, Delhi; Step by Step, Noida; St Karens, Patna; Pearl Academy, Jaipur amongst others.
Amba also works as an actor and facilitator with a specialty in drama based learning and interactive training. Some of the companies she has recently worked with include Standard Chartered Bank, The BBC, London Stock Exchange Group, Times of India, MetLife Insurance, Make My Trip, Nokia, Magic Bricks, BT Group, GSK and Rolls Royce among others. For the last four years she has partnered with REACT a UK based earning and development company and has been instrumental in setting up REACT’s India functions.
Ammith Kumar joined The Danceworx in 2003. He is trained in Jazz, Contemporary and Classical Ballet. He has also done training workshops in Latin Ballroom, Funk, Hip-hop, Acro-Yoga, Yoga, Choreography Composition and Contact Improvisation. Apart from studying full-time at The Danceworx, Amith has also done classes at the Broadway Dance Centre, New York (jazz, funk & hip-hop); at Alvin Ailey, New York (modern) and at the Peridance Capezio Center, New York (jazz & modern). He has also attended The Goa Contact Festival 2013, where dancers, performers and other artists from more than 30 countries come together, focusing on an international exchange of ideas and knowledge through training and discussions.
Ammith’s performing resume is extensive. He has danced in various pieces of The Danceworx Student Repertory Company repertoire, choreographed by Indian and International choreographers. And he has performed extensively for stage, film and television.
Theatrical performances include: The Cascade Project (2012), Bhoomika: Narendra Sharma Festival for Dance (2012), Quarterfest (2011), Travelling Minds(Delhi International Arts Festival, 2011), Ji Saab Ji (2010), Duet by ‘Three’ (2009), Salaam India (2008), Out of Sight (2008), and About Nothing (2003 & 2007).
Performances at major events include: 1000 Day Countdown to Commonwealth Games XIX (2008), Hungry Heart Festival (2007), International Film Festival of India opening ceremony (2006), Tribute to R.D. Burman, musical concert with Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy in Goa (2006), and the Commonwealth Games XVIII Queen’s Baton Relay (2005). Film performances include: Rockstar (director Imtiaz Ali, choreographer Ashley Lobo), Aisha (director Rajshree Ojha, choreographer Ashley Lobo), U, Me Aur Hum (director Ajay Devgan, choreographer Ashley Lobo), and Dhoom (director Sanjay Gadhvi, choreographer Ashley Lobo).
Television performances include the show Reebok Life on NDTV Good Times (choreographer Shaira Bhan, The Danceworx).
Ammith has choreographed extensively for both stage and film.
Choreographies for theatrical productions & shows include: The Cascade Project (2012), Bhoomika: Narendra Sharma Festival for Dance (2012), Quarterfest (2011), and The Chrysalis Project (2011 & 2012). School/ college production choreographies include: Around the World in 60 Days: Disney Musical for Annual Day of Chiranjiv Bharati School, Gurgaon (2008); Fiddler on the Roof directed and choreographed for Annual Day of Chiranjiv Bharati School, Gurgaon (2008); Dance Competition for Chiranjiv Bharati School, Gurgaon (2008); 50th Annual Day of Bluebells International School, New Delhi (2007); Annual Day of Birla Vidya Niketan School, New Delhi (2007); Perspective for the choreography team of Gargi College, New Delhi (2006); The Monkey King and The Ugly Duckling for Ahlcon International School, New Delhi; All That Jazz for Annual Day of Khaitan Public School, Noida; Around the World for Annual Day of Neerja Modi School, Jaipur; and Platinum Dance for St. Mary’s High School, Mt. Abu., Rajasthan.
Ammith has also choreographed corporate events for companies such as Maruti, Xerox, HSBC, etc.
His film choreographies include assisting Ashley Lobo on the following: Guzaarish (director Sanjay Leela Bhansali), Aisha (director Rajshree Ojha), U, Me Aur Hum (director Ajay Devgan) and Jab We Met (director Imtiaz Ali). Ammith’s future plans are to continue being a Contemporary dancer and teacher, and to create a dance style of his own. He also wishes to set up The Danceworx in other cities in India
Amod Bhatt is a music director, musician and teacher. He has learned theatre music from eminent personality Mr B.V. Karanth and worked with him on more than 100 plays. He has worked with renowned international directors like Fritz Benefits (Germany), George lavaundo (France), John Martin (UK), Barry John (UK, India), Habib Tanveer, B.M. Shah, Bansi Kaul, Mahesh Dattani, Atul Tiwari. He has composed music for poetry and songs written by Gulzar, Tagore, Jaishankar Prasad, Dinkar Mahadevi Verma, Shrikant Verma, Bachchan’s Madhushala,T.S. Eliot for theatre and films.
As a music teacher, he is visiting faculty at prestigious institutions like National School of Drama (New Delhi, Varanasi, Bangalore), Drama School Mumbai, Whistling Wood International (Mumbai), Kala Academy (Goa), Academy of Theatre Arts (University of Mumbai) and M.P. School of Drama (Bhopal).
Amod participated in the Commonwealth Theatre Laboratory workshop at Bharat Bhawan. He has been a repertory member of Rangmandal (Bhopal). He has acted in many plays as “Ghasiram Kotwal, Skandagupt, Malvikagnimitra, Bali ka Bakra, Servant of Two Masters and other folk performances. He has conducted music sessions in Chicago and Santiago with The Company Theatre.
Currently Amod is working on theatre music workshop based on Uttar Pradesh Nautanki at Madhya Pradesh School of Drama, Indian Classical Theatre training project by NSD Varanasi and directing music for the play “Mitti ki Gadi Ib”.
Amod has been awarded Sangeet Natak Academy Award (SNA Awardee, year 2014) for contribution in Theatre Music. He is a receiver of Indian Television Award for Best Music Direction for “Upnishad Ganga”.
Deepa Dharmadhikari studied lighting design at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, while pursuing a BFA in Dance.
In the US, artists’ whose work she has lit include José Limón, Trisha Brown, George Balanchine, Shapiro & Smith, Sardono W. Kusumo, Gregory Maqoma, Nathan Trice and Preeti Vasudevan. In India: Sonal Mansingh, Dadi Padamjee, Lilette Dubey, Rama Vaidyanathan, Geeta Chandran, Pratibha Prahlad, Gilles Chuyen, Justin McCarthy, Daksha Sheth, Anita Ratnam, Moya Michaels and Nikhil Mehta.
Fellow Drama School Mumbai instructors she has worked with include Sanjukta Wagh, Aniruddh Nair and Faezeh Jalali. She has toured Japan, Korea, Bahrain, England, Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka as a lighting designer, and toured India as associate designer for several international productions.
Deshik is well known in the theatre circuit for his efforts at bringing more of Shakespeare’s works in India and conducting them all over the country. He also has a radio play on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure currently playing on All India Radio.
Deshik extensively works with texts of Shakespeare and the few of his well acknowledged works are The Taming of the Shrew, The Boy who Stopped Smiling, Measure for Measure.
Faezeh is the Founder and Artistic Director of FATS Thearts, Mumbai. She is an award-winning actor, director, and writer, as well as a teacher, choreographer, activist, and aerialist.
Faezeh is the recipient of the prestigious Tanveer Natyadharme Puraskar 2017 (presented by Dr. Sriram Lagoo’s Roopwedh Pratishthan trust) for her contribution to the field.
She has also been a META awardee ( Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards) for her plays/performances in 2016, 2017 and 2018, Sultan Padamsee Playwriting awardee 2016, and Laadli Media Award for Gender Diversity 2017
Faezeh has been working professionally for the last couple of decades on stage, (and has toured internationally), in film, TV, and, more recently, in web-series.
She has written and directed several well-acclaimed plays, like, Shikhandi-The Story of the Inbetweens, Bone of Contention, 777 among others.
Faezeh has 15+ years of teaching experience with children and adults. And in addition to teaching at schools and directing school and professional shows, she conducts theatre workshops for all ages.
Gerish has been working in the theatre in varied capacities since 12 years. He started off his theatre journey in Mumbai as an actor with the theatre group Working Title 2.0 and Stage Two Theatre. Additionally, he has created several student productions with both school and college students in Mumbai over the past 10 years. He is presently serving as a visiting faculty at The Drama School Mumbai and the NMIMS Jyoti Dalal School of Liberal Arts. He also works with RPG Foundation as a super trainer for their Pehlay Akshar School Training Programme.
In March 2015, he founded his own theatre group, The Blind and the Elephant, which staged its first production Ripples, a play dealing with questions of teaching and learning, co-written and directed by him. The play drew favourable reviews from critics, practitioners, students and general audiences alike.
Holding a M.A (Honors) in English Literature from the University of Mumbai, he received the Charles Wallace scholarship by the British Council to pursue the Module 1 (October-December 2016) of the Devising Theatre and Performance course at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) situated in Berlin He completed his Module 2 (January-March 2018) of the same course at LISPA.
In August 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Hindu Playwright Award along with his co-writer Akshat Nigam for their play In Search of Dariya Sagar for the new unpublished script. Also In Search of Dariya Sagar has been chosen among the three final shortlisted plays for Naya/Noya 2018-the first Indian Playwrights’ Festival as part of Specific 2018, organised by Feste Theatre, Prague, Brno, Czech Republic. The production of the same directed by Gerish opened in July 2018 in Mumbai and travelled to the Hindu Theatre Festival 2018, Rangashankara Theatre, Azim Premji University Bangalore and continues to do its round of shows.
Gerish has been awarded the Hindu Playwright Award 2017 for In Search of Dariya Sagar at the Hindu Theatre Festival 2017 along with his co-writer Akshat Nigam. It was among the three final shortlisted plays for Naya/Noya 2018-the first Indian Playwrights’ Festival as part of Specific 2018, organised by Feste Theatre, Prague, Brno, Czech Republic.
Mahesh Dattani is an esteemed playwright, stage director and filmmaker, with over forty years of experience. His plays have been published by Penguin Inida and have been performed all over the world; produced in London, Leicester, New York, Washington DC, Sydney, Columbo and Dubai.
He is the receiver of Sahitya Akademi Award 1998 for Final Solutions and Other Plays. He has also been awarded the Ahuja Fellowship from Columbia University 2016.
Saatvika Kantamneni is an independent production and stage manager for theatre and live events. She has an MA in Collaborative Theatre Production and Design from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She has been Senior Stage Manager for Disney’s Aladdin in India. She was company stage manager with QTP for three years and Festival Director of youth theatre movement Thespo for two years. Theatre credits include Eidgah Ke Jinnat (Bhasha Centre), Muktidham (Indian Ensemble), Great Expectations (Attic Theatre Company, UK), The God of Carnage (QTP). Saatvika enjoys working in unconventional venues and creating collaborative work that challenges the world we live in.
She was Production Manager for The Kite Runner by Akvarious Productions and D for Drama, as part of the Aadyam Theatre Festival.
Neeraja Patwardhan works as costume designer and teaches costume design at various theatre schools. Some of them are: Lalit Kala Kendra, Pune University; MVM College, Nagpur; Mahatma Gandhi International University, Vardha; Academy of Theatre Arts, Mumbai University; National School of Drama, Delhi, Extn. workshop in Assam; Dept of Mass Comm. (Entertainment), MET, Bandra; Natya Disha, Nehru Centre, Mumbai. Neeraja has also taught film production design at MKSSS’s School of Media Art and Symboisis Institute of Media & Communication.
Her films Include Shwaas(2004 – Costume Design) and Nadi Vahate (2017 – Prodction Design)
Apart from this, she writes about costume history. She has written a column for a Marathi daily with costume history as a tool or premise to discuss different social aspects. She is working on a book based on the same column.
Vikram Phukan is a theatre practitioner, playwright and stage commentator. He has written extensively on theatre in publications like The Hindu, Forbes India, Live Mint, Mumbai Theatre Guide and his own website – Stage Impressions. He has served on several curating and grant-making committees, including the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, the Goethe-Institut’s Gender Bender and Refunction, the Serendipty Arts Festival and Wiener Festwochen (for its India programme). As a theatre practitioner, he has written and directed Those Left Behind Things, a play on Iranian asylum seekers. His writing credits include contributing to Sunil Shanbag’s Hindustani musical Stories in a Song; Limbo, a rites of passage drama directed by Manish Gandhi; and collaborating with The Patchworks Ensemble on The Gentlemen’s Club.
Abhay Sardesai is the Editor of ART India, the country’s premier art magazine, since November 2002. Under his editorship, the magazine has developed a Culture Studies-oriented approach and has become more inter-disciplinary in its theme-based explorations. He has been a Visiting Faculty in Aesthetics at the Department of English, University of Mumbai, and has also been the Chair of Humanities, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, Mumbai.
In over a decade of working in theatre and film, Akshay Shimpi has done more than 30 plays and 7 short films that have toured festivals across India. He performs in both Hindi and Marathi and has been part of productions like Hello Farmaaish, Vaangdmyacha Ghodiv Itihaas, Naag-Mandal, Ghashiram Kotwal, Hayvadan, Ram Sanjeevani ki Premkatha, Astitva and Agdeech Shoonya. He received acclaim for his portrayal of freedom fighter Anant Kanhere in the Marathi film 1909. He is currently touring across Maharashtra. He is recently working on Hello Farmaaish and Vaangdmyacha Ghodiv Itihaas.
Ameya Naik is a passionate composer and a percussionist, who is involved in composing, arranging, sound designing and recording music for commercials, corporate films, feature films. One of his key projects has been to compose the music for Ashwin Sanghi’s book track. Ameya plays percussions and keyboards. He also has his own studio setup called Ameyazmusic Studio.
Anamika Haksar is an alumnus of the National School of Drama. She also studied at the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts in Moscow.
It was as a 16-year-old in 1976 that Haksar began a three-year socially-engaged apprenticeship with firebrand dramatist Badal Sarkar, known for his uncompromising theatre of resistance.
While at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Haksar participated in a couple of anti-Emergency plays, but her interest in theatre as a vocation only took off with her stint at the National School of Drama (NSD), under the tutelage of BV Karanth, the director of the institute from 1977 till 1982. Her class travelled extensively, studying Indian forms like Yakshagana and Kalaripayattu, developing a deep appreciation for rooted traditions.
After passing out of the NSD in 1982, she went to the Soviet Union to study at the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts in Moscow (now called the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts), where her five-year stint began in unfamiliar fashion.
After returning to India in 1988, Haksar and her contemporaries like Kirti Jain and Khalid Tyabji at the NSD, where she was now visiting faculty, were able to formulate and implement new methodologies that marked a radical shift in terms of theatre pedagogy. Her diploma production, in 1988, was Reminiscences of Krishna, with the Soviet Plastic Ensemble, followed by Viy in the same year, with Maya Krishna Rao and Ravindra Sahu, based on the horror novella by Russian writer, Nikolai Gogol. In 1989, she staged Rabindranath Tagore’s Dak Ghar with the Shri Ram Centre Repertory Company, and in 1993 she made Antaryatra, based on one of Tamil literature’s great epics, Silappadikaram. This diversity of work makes it difficult to categorise Haksar, but what the projects have in common is her multi-pronged approach, replete with inventive actors’ exercises and experimental strategies adapted to the material at hand.
Surprisingly, despite her renown as an NSD pedagogue, Haksar has only mounted two productions, separated by 14 years, at her alma mater. Raj Darpan came in 1994, and was a meditation on the Dramatic Performance Act of 1876, a draconian colonial-era measure that all but dismantled the concept of indigenous theatre.
In 2008, she mounted the stirring Uchakka, an adaptation of Marathi novelist Laxman Gaikwad’s autobiography. This was her last stage production before she immersed herself into the making of her film. Haksar recalls a conversation with mentor Karanth, shortly before his death in 2002. Always at respectful loggerheads over their respective styles, he had finally conceded: “Your kind of folk lies in the sounds of the people on the streets”, referring to the living language and sensory expressions of real people, so intrinsic to the ethos of her debut film Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon. It was screened at multiple international festivals.
Aniruddha Khutwad works as a visiting faculty at this alma matar and at the Film and Television Institude of India (FTII) where he teaches acting based on the Stanislavski system. He conducts theatre workshops across various parts in India including Ladakh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. He has directed numerous plays in Marathi and in Hindi for prominent institutions and theatre groups across India. Some of his work includes Mahapoor for Kalakendra, Pune; Sainya Bhaye Kotwal for the NSD; Ek Rikami Baju for Theatrix, Mumbai; Party for Academy of Theatre Arts, Mumbai University; Adhantar and The Lower Depths for NSD; and Kay Danger Wara Sutlay for Maharashtra Rangbhoomi, Mumbai. He has recently directed Dr. Gieve Patel’s Mister Behram for Kala Kendra, which has been translated into Marathi by Shanta Gokhale.
Aniruddha Khutwad was the Chief AD for Haasil, Valu, Najarana, Fursat Mein, Ek Sham ki Mulakat, Anekon Hitler, Musafir and others.
Asif Ali Beg began his career in entertainment as a singer on an international cruise liner in 1982. He eventually started his own band Mantra in 1997 and released his debut album Jantar Mantar. He was was awarded the Charles Wallace scholarship from the British Council in 2001 which enabled him to study acting in the UK. In July 2002, he graduated from the East 15 Acting School, University of Essex following which he returned to India and has been intricately involved in the theatre scene ever since. Asif has played key roles in many stage productions such as Alyque Padamsee`s Othello, Mahesh Dattani`s The Alchemist and Lilette Dubey`s Jaya. He will be seen in the theatrical performance of David Ives` collection of short-plays, All In The Timing directed by Faezeh Jalali.
Body Conditioning | Advanced Kalaripayattu Training: Vallabhatta Kalari Academy, Malapuram Vocational training, Kalari body massage and advanced training in Kalaripayattu from Late C. VISWANATHAN Gurukkal. Kalaripayattu training: Vallabhatta Kalari Sangham, Chavakkad. Under the guidance of Guru C. S. Menon.
Belraj Soni is the founder of Navaneetham, a 20-year old establishment that aims to popularise and propagate Indian art forms by providing opportunities to young artists and to give the art lovers an opportunity to witness the performances of maestros in the field of music and dance. He is a faculty at Somayia Vidyavihar University for past 7 years, and the Instructor at Belraj Kalari Mumbai for past 20 years. He was the University Champion in Kalari at Calicut University, Kerala in 1990-1991. Belraj performs all across India and also holds yearly workshops at different education and performance centres.
BenSamuels is an award-winning director, writer and performer. He studied theatre and cultural history at Brown University (USA), and received his MFA at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA), where he was supported by a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship for Theatre Arts. As the Artistic Director of Limbik, he wrote and performed in the company’s first two shows The Harbour and Ghost Town, directed their next two projects, The Messenger and The Forecast.
His solo show, Fatherland, explores the intersection of real-time motion capture and immersive virtual reality technology with live theatre. It was one of five national projects supported by the UK’s Digital Catapult Creative XR programme. Other Directing work includes: Gael Le Cornec’s “The Other” and “Kitchen”; “The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee” (Drama School Mumbai, India); The Science Gallery London’s interactive “Blood Bikers;” and Assistant Director to Andrew Dawson for Redcape’s “The Idiot Colony.”
As an Associate Director at the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, he created ten productions with Performing Arts students, often focusing on re-writing and re-imagining classic texts. He currently regularly directs Music Theatre productions for the London College of Music.
Ben performed nationally and internationally with theatre companies such as Fix&Foxy, Likely Story, Barnstorm, Nutkhut, Theatre of Europe, Decollage, and Lemonade and Laughing Gas, and played mandolin for a decade with the UK’s hardest working klezmer-balkan-gypsy band, She’koyokh.
Chinmay Kelkar is working as a writer-director and actor for last 18 years. He completed his theatre training from Centre for performing arts, Pune University. He has written and directed a few experimental plays before. He Works for Dramatization of children literature and closely associated with a NGO called QUEST. Awarded by Damu Kenkre fellowship in 2013. He is interested in experimenting with intimate theatre.
Daniel Goldman is an award-winning director, translator, teacher and playwright. Directing credits include Thebes Land (Off West End Award – Best Production), You’re not like the Other Girls Chrissy (co-directed with Omar Elerian – Olivier Award Nomination), Wanawake Wa Heri Wa Windsa (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre & International tour), Oedipus at Colonus (The Cambridge Greek Play & Songs of Friendship: A storytelling trilogy with James Rowland (Three Weeks Editors Award). Daniel has been the artistic director of Tangram Theatre Company since 2006 and he was the artistic director of CASA Latin American Theatre Festival from 2007 until 2019. His current projects include Frankenstein at Inside Out Theatre, Beijing in December 2019 & Stupid F**king Bird at The Pleasance, Islington in February 2020.
Dhanendra Kawade has been a part of the theatre industry for the last 28 years. He initially trained for 8 years under Dada Bangeshwar Mullick and later worked for 3 years with “Rangshri Little Ballet Troupe’, Bhopal – that skilled him as a light, sound and set designer as well as an actor.
He formed his own theatre company called 3rd Bell Productions in 2005, now called Swangvale Performing Arts and Social Work Samiti He has been working in theatre for young audiences, and has created performances on Panch-tattva (Five Elements) and Panchatantra (Stories of India)
Dr. Prabhath Bhaskaran has been the Assistant Professor at Pondicherry University. Alongside, he is evolving the practice of Natyasastra in connection with body and mind tendency.
Dr. Bhaskaran has been learning Kalaripayattu from the age of seven and teaching in relation with the awareness of an autonomous actor training around the world. He is learning and practicing Butoh (Japan) in connection with a parallel aesthetic concept.
Dr. Bhaskaran works exclusively with farmers and artists in Japan to understand the natural way of farming, cooking and serving as part of theare-making program in Japan.
He has started an after school for children in Tokigawa village of Japan and is conducting his practice in oriented research on Tai chi under the guidance of Yag Jin. Prabhath is living a sustainable life in a village as an artist farmer.
Dr. Bhaskaran has been awarded the University Potential Eligibility award by UGC for his study in Noh theatre in Japan as part of PhD research (2004). He has received a Gold Medal in MPA Direction at MPA Theatre Arts (2002-04).
Jeroo Mulla was the Head of the Sophia Institute of Social Communications Media, Mumbai from 2012 -2013 and the Head of the Social Communications Media Department, Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai from 1986 – 2012. She has been teaching film appreciation, photography and the Fundamental Concepts of Communications, and supervising student documentaries at the Sophia Polytechnic for over thirty years since 1979. Currently she continues to teach film and photography as a visiting faculty at Sophia Polytechnic and at various other media institutes such as Xavier’s Institute of Communications and Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communications and at St Xavier’s College. She is also a media consultant, and on the advisory boards of the Xavier’s BMM course and the Haridev University of Communications in Jaipur.
At Sophia Polytechnic she has supervised the student productions of over eighty audio-visuals and twenty-four video documentaries on human development issues. In 2004 she was awarded a Gold Medal for her 25 years of service and dedication to the Sophia Polytechnic. In September 2014 she was given the Professor Satish Bahadur Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film Studies in South Asia at the Alpaviram Film Festival at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
In April 2007 she was awarded a Fellowship and a Gold Medal, by the Association of Business Communicators of India in recognition of her “long and distinguished career in the communication practice.”
In 2010 she served as a Jury member for the National Film Awards. She was also on the Selection Committee for the International Children’s Film Festival Hyderabad 2011 and 2013.
In 2003 she served on the Advisory Panel of the Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai. She was appointed to the Film Censor Board as an Advisory Panel member in 1987 where she served for three years.
She is currently on the advisory board of WIFT (Women in Film and Television) and on the advisory board of the Asia Society for their New Voices Fellowship for Screenwriters. Jeroo Mulla is also an accomplished Bharatnatyam exponent who has trained under the renowned guru Acharya Parvatikumar,
Kalyanee Mulay is an Indian theater and film actress. Having a keen interest in acting, a graduate of the National School of Drama, Kalyanee was an active theater artist during her college days and went on to work with several veteran artists.
The actress received rave reviews for her role in the play Unseen directed by Vishnupad Barve. In the play, Kalyanee showcased the journey of a woman from birth to adolescence depicting the daily rituals of womanhood – dressing up, depilation, and menstruation.
She has also appeared in short films such as Sunrise (2014), and Vilag (2014). In 2017, she appeared in the Marathi movie Ringan and Ribbon. She is associated with the 2018 Marathi drama Nude directed by Ravi Jadhav. Her 2019 release includes Me Pan Sachin.
Pooja Warier Hamilton is the co-founder and CEO of UnLtd India, a pioneering organisation that finds, funds and supports early stage social entrepreneurs in India. Since 2007, UnLtd India has supported over 130+ social entrepreneurs who have further impacted 2.5 million lives and created 390,000 jobs.
Pooja is also the co-founder of Bombay Connect, India’s first co-working space for social entrepreneurs and Journeys for Change that brings global leaders to learn from social entrepreneurs in India.
Lakshika Pandey a theatre practitioner, an actor and a dancer with over 15 years of experience. She is trained in Bharatnatyam, Chhau, Yoga and Butoh. She has also attended Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance.
She is the founder of the Mumbai-based theatre company: The Shakti Ensemble, under which she has devised and directed Bebaak Beckett (based on Samuel Beckett’s life and short plays), a play performed in six languages.
Her recent major production is Rang De: a musical folk drama adapted from Tagore’s Horikhela, which made use of Awadhi songs and folk music and was well-received at the NCPA. Currently, she is directing two plays Kabira Khada Bazar mein written by Bhishm Sahani and Tuglaq by Girish karnad.
Mandar was in charge of Mumbai University choir group for five years. He has been accompanying Padmashri Padmaja Phenany Joglekar on keyboard and harmonium since 18 years. He has been accompanied many artists Ravindra Sathe, Ranjana Joglekar, Shridhar Phadke, Jaswinder Singh.
He is working with Javed Akhtarji and Shabana Azmiji in their show ‘Kaifi aur main’ since 5 years. He has composing background music for Hindi, Marathi ,Bengali films like ‘Ek alag mausam’ by Nandita Das, ‘Morning walk’ by Anupam Kher, ‘Prem mahnaje prem aste’ by Mrunal Kulkarni.
He has composed jingles also like Charminar Cement, Amul coco, for Fame Adlabs. He also composed music for play “Rangila re” by an actor Manoj Joshi. Mandar has done workshops for NCPA for theatre professionals for actors.
Mandar is working as a music teacher in Bombay Cambridge international school Andheri (east) since 1996.
Leandre is Curator & Program Director of Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts. She is Co-Founder & Curator of ArtOxygen Mumbai.
She was invited to curate the participation of Indian and international artists at the Biennial Haein Art Project in South Korea in 2013, and she also curated independently, the Sensorium Art Festival for Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts, among others. In 2014, she received an award for Culture and Change bestowed by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development. Her work on Games of Chance exhibition opens in January 2020 at Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts.
Quasar Thakore Padamsee is an Indian stage actor turned theatre director. He studied English Literature at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai. Though he started his career following his father, as an adman, he soon switched full-time theatre by starting Mumbai based theatre company called QTP, with partners Arghya Lahiri, Christopher Samuel, Nadir Khan, Toral Shah and Vivek Rao.
Since 1999, he has directed and produced over 20 plays with theatre company, QTP. He also works as a stage manager and lighting designer for the theatre productions. He was also the Assistant Director of Tim Supple’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Plays directed by Quasar Thakore Padamsee include: The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Minorities, All My Sons, The Urban Burden, A View From The Stage, Acid, Kindertansport, Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace, Project S.t.r.i.p., A Peasant of El Salvador, Mother Courage and her Children, Every Brilliant Thing.
In 2013, he directed “So Many Socks” which was nominated for the META Awards. The play, written by Annie Zaidi, is inspired from a book of poems, Kora, written by Tibetan author-activist Tenzin Tsundue, which highlights the problems of Tibetans in exile.
Roo Jhala McLaughlin trained as an actor at Oxford School of Drama and graduated as their first student director in 2003. Roo returned to India in 2004 where she established Tambourine Theatre with her partner Liam McLaughlin. Tambourine Theatre Company works to make theatre accessible to amateurs and professionals (in both acting and corporate fields) as well as students and teachers in the context of theatre in education. They run workshops throughout the year that cater to all ages at basic, intermediary and advanced levels.
Her work is essentially a practical exploration of the actor’s craft inspired by the ideas and approaches of luminaries such as Constantin Stanislavski, Patsy Rodenburg, Uta Hagen, Keith Johnstone & others. The work encompasses an exposition to the world of drama and the tools of acting through performance based workshops. Our repertoire includes ‘Playing Shakespeare’: unlocking Shakespearean verse to make it more accessible, Improvisational Theatre & Integration Techniques, Voice Culture & Movement Work, Merging Lateral Thinking methods with Improvisation & Drama, Acting for the Camera, Experimental Poetry & Creative Writing.
Her recent directorial is Poetrusic, a dramatized poetry performance.
Roshan D’souza is a Incubation Manager with UnLtd India – an incubator for social entrepreneurs. He has been a teacher at Don Bosco High School and has completed his MBA from the Institute of Technology and Management, as well as a post graduation in journalism and communication from KC College, Mumbai.
Research & Praxis | BA – Political Science, St.Xavier’s Mumbai Post Grad.Diploma – Museology, dissertation on Live Interpretation; using performative techniques in Museum interpretation, CSMVS Mumbai
Sananda Mukhopadhyaya is a theatre director, lighting designer and arts based facilitator based in Mumbai.
As an educator, Sananda works with education institutions to develop programmes with a focus on Theatre and Visual art. She has closely worked with Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Foundation for Indian Contemporary Arts, Shiv Nadar University and Theatre Professionals among a few. Her classroom practice is rooted in theatre, visual art and language and she works withtin both urban and semi-rural context.
She is a creative entrepreneur and runs two enterprises; Extensions Arts – a collaborative platform that seeks opportunities to create innovative art based engagements. Most popular among the projects Extensions has worked on is the ‘Museum of Ordinary objects’ and the ‘Baby Theatre Festival’. And Sphere Arts Education. Sphere works with schools and learning institutions to provide curriculum and teacher training solutions using the arts. They currently work with institutions in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Jaipur.
As director, lighting designer and performer she has worked on numerous collaborations both within the country and internationally. Her first play ‘In the Cat House’ opened at the Summer time festival for children at Prithvi Theatre in 2012. Her next, ‘Khidki’ at the NCPA Centrestage in 2013. In 2017 she a play for babies, ‘Warp and Weft’, under the mentorship of Sarah Argent and Kevin Richard Lewis as part of ‘Shishu-Baban’; a collaboration between Think Arts, Kolkata and Theatre Iolo, Cardiff supported by the British Council. Warp and Weft opened in Cardiff and continues to do shows in the country. In 2018 she directed ‘Oool’ for Tram Arts trust, under the mentorship of Barbara Kolling from Helios Theatre, Germany with whom she had been learning over a series of mentorships facilitated by the Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, New Delhi. Oool is currently touring the country and has performed at the Aha!, the Ranga Shankara festival for children in Bangalore and the Baby theatre Festival in Mumbai. Most recently she performed her play for toddlers titled ‘Warp and Weft’ in Kolkata, Mumbai and Cardiff. She is currently directing a new play for toddlers, commissioned by the Serendipity Festival which will open in Goa in December 2019.
Among some of her other deep interests are trees, books, cats, textiles, dance, illustration, architecture, pottery and yoga.
Sunil Shanbag is a Mumbai based theatre director and producer. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Theatre Arpana, and Tamaasha Theatre.
Over the past 36 years, Sunil’s work across various genres of theatre practice has been engaging with and presenting the complex nature of contemporary India, on stage as well as in various alternative spaces.
From 2006 Sunil began working closely with writers to develop original texts that were firmly placed in a contemporary social context. The outcomes of this process are productions such as Cotton 56, Polyester84, Sex, Morality and Censorship, Walking to the Sun, and Stories in a Song. In In 2012 Sunil was invited by the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London to produce a Gujarati adaptation of Shakespeare’s Alls Well That Ends Well. The play, titled Maro Piyu Gayo Rangoon was performed as part of the Globe to Globe Festival, 2012, and in 2014 had a second extended run at the Globe. He was senior creative consultant for Theater Freiberg’s German production of Kiran Nagarkar’s book, God’s Little Soldier, directed by Jarg Pataki.
Tamaasha Theatre was founded in 2014 to seed the city of Mumbai with alternative performance spaces and engage with a wide definition of theatre.
Sunil Shanbag is also a documentary film-maker and producer with several independent films to his credit. His film, Maihar Raag, won the National Award for best non-fiction film in 1993. His Aamakaar, The Turtle People, directed by Surabhi Sharma, won the prestigious Ramsar MedWet Award at Ecocinema in Greece in 2004.
An Intercultural Theatre Institute (Singapore) with a Professional Diploma in Intercultural Theatre Acting graduate with a Master of Performing Arts with a distinction in Theatre Arts from the University of Hyderabad.
Soti is deeply interested in the physical expression of an actor’s training. Influenced by intercultural training, his training techniques and teaching span theatre and Movement, realistic acting, psycho-physical (Michael Chekhov) expression and structural stylization.
Soti has worked in many areas in physical performance, including various genres of performing arts, combining performer training techniques, and between individual expression and collective resonance. He uses established methods as a springboard for creative exploration, identifying patterns and/or contradictions, charting individual discoveries and integrating them into one’s ongoing practice.
Soti is also the Artistic Director of M.L. Ramanad Theatre Foundation in India, CoFounder/Director of Theatre Incorporate in Singapore and President of Zoom Dance Academy in India.
Nikhil Varagiri has been associated with Kalarigram – a school of traditional kalarippayattu and Ayurveda since 2013 under the guidance of Shri Lakshman Gurukkal.
His journey into martial art started through Karate in 2006 and then moved on to kalarippayattu form Hindustan Kalari Sangam, Kozhikode(Calicut), Kerala in 2010 in which he has now mastered and goes on to teach this art form professionally.
Since 2013, Nikhil has been teaching Kalaripayattu professionally in Kalarigram Auroville, Tamil Nadu as resident teacher. Since then he has also been teaching kalariayattu to actors of Adi-Shakthi theater laboratory. He has also been conducting various workshops on kalarippayattu in various places like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and many more.