About the playwright: Sapan Saran is a poet, writer, and director based in Mumbai. She is the co-founder of the theatre company, Tamaasha Theatre. Tamaasha runs a cultural centre called Studio Tamaasha in Mumbai, and a Performing Arts residency space in Kashid, Maharashtra.
Sapan's association with theatre began with a collaboration with contemporary dancer Astad Deboo in 2012. In 2017-18, Sapan was invited by the National Theatre of Wales to co-write Sisters – a one year long project on the lives of South Asian women; their histories and experiences. In 2022-23, she directed a production for National Theatre London’s youth theatre initiative, Connections India led by the NCPA. She is a recipient of the Tendulkar-Dubey Fellowship, 2018. Her production Same Same but Different is running successfully, travelling to various cities, and at theatre festivals. Her latest work Be-loved is an exploration of queer love in India through theatre, music, poetry and movement.
Sapan practices theatre in multiple languages, and collaborates regularly with music composers and movement artists. She is involved in training younger theatre practitioners at institutions like Drama School Mumbai. Her poems have been published in several Hindi magazines, including Sahitya Akademi’s Samkaleen Bharteeya Sahitya and Samved.
Her first book of plays ‘Ottam Aur Anya Natak’ has recently been published by Delhi based Vaam Prakashan.
Synopsis of the play:
Scorched follows the journey of twins Janine (Jeanne in the original French text) and Simon, as they attempt to unravel the mystery of their mother's life. When Janine and Simon Marwan lose their mother, Nawal, they are instead left with a difficult mission that sends them on a journey to the Middle East in pursuit of their tangled roots and a long-lost brother.
About the series:
A play truly comes to life when it is read and heard, out loud. To this end, The Drama Library returned to Arghya Lahiri and Phalguni Vittal Rao to curate a second volume of scripts we want to hear and playwrights whose work we want to engage with more.
'Scorched' is the first play to be read in this series (originally titled Incendies, in French) by Wajdi Mouawad.
About the playwright: Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904) was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov was a physician by profession.
About the speakers: Bruce Guthrie is the head of Theatre & Film at the National Centre For The Performing Arts in Mumbai, India.
About the playwright: Caryl Lesley Churchill is a British playwright known for dramatising the abuses of power, for her use of non-naturalistic techniques, and exploration of sexual politics and feminist themes.
About the speakers: Irawati Karnik is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, translator and educator based out of Mumbai. She writes in Marathi, Hindi and English. Her work has been published and produced to acclaim. She is currently the Academic Head of Drama School Mumbai.
Shanta Gokhale is a writer, translator, journalist and theatre critic.
Akash Khurana Akash Khurana has directed and acted in plays by Pinter, Mamet, Mrozek, Havel, Kundera, Friel, Shakespeare, Shaw, and Beckett. He has worked extensively with Satyadev Dubey, Sunil Shanbag and Naseeruddin Shah and is a core member of Arpana, Motley and Akvarious, three of the foremost theatre companies in the country. His production of Vijay Tendulkar’s A Friend’s Story was performed at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. He was the Artistic Advisor to the NCPA Repertory Theatre, and has been on the juries of the Aditya Birla Kala Puraskars and the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards. He is an award-winning actor (Nandi for Dr. Ambedkar) and screenwriter (Filmfare for Baazigar). The River of Love, directed by him, has garnered multiple awards at international film festivals. He is the author of the book MENTOR-MORPHOSIS: Stories for Mentoring the Leader in You.
Arghya Lahiri is a writer, director, lighting designer and filmmaker who works out of Mumbai. He's been involved in the theatre, in every capacity that he can get away with, for over twenty years. He has over a hundred productions to his credit, in addition to live events and festivals.
Gurleen Judge works as a writer, director and light designer in the theatre. For the past 9 years, she has been producing and creating her own work as well as freelancing as a writer, director, and lighting designer for various theatre companies. She also works as an educator and teacher-trainer apart from writing and directing several annual day productions at schools and after-school centres. Her directorial work has been performed at several prestigious national and international festivals including Ranga Shankara Festival, Kenya International Festival and Prague Fringe Prologue. She is one of the recipients of the Vinod Doshi - Tendulkar - Dubey Fellowship Award 2020.
Ravikiran Rajendran is a multilingual actor, theatremaker and filmmaker from Bangalore. A National School of Drama alumnus, he is notable for his debut in 'Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu’ and was a SIIMA Short Film Awards nominee for the Best Supporting Actor in 'The Last Kannadiga’.
Ravikiran believes in cinema and theatre's power for empowerment, especially for the oppressed. He explores diverse forms to tell stories. His debut short film made it to Netflix's TAKE TEN initiative's penultimate round, acknowledging new filmmakers in India.
He is also the founder of Haadibadi, fostering spaces and mediums for free learning. Home to the Haadibadi Community Library, it is a youth haven for thousands of stories. Haadibadi uses theatre, publications, and cinema to bring its narratives to mainstream, including 'Write in Power – An Anthology of Personal and Political,' their first book.
Hina Siddiqui is a Queer, Neurodivergent Transmedia Storyteller and Maladaptive Daydreamer. She writes comics, makes games, runs a podcast (currently on hiatus) and edits a homegrown newsletter (where she frequently goes off on tangents about her special interests). She does her best to make everything queer af. She believes in the healing power of domestic rituals, the kindness of the Universe and that we are all here to take care of each other. Hina has 5 children, is open to adopting many more and is always looking for people to collaborate with on the next great adventure. Most importantly though, as she types this, there is a cat sitting on her lap.
Ashutosh Potdar is an award-winning Marathi writer of several one-act and full-length plays, poems, short fiction and translations. He has two collections of plays, a collection of poetry and an adaptation of a play to his credit. He is the recipient of several awards for his writing, including the Maharashtra government’s Ram Ganesh Gadkari Award and Maharashtra Foundation's R S Datar Award. Ashutosh has also presented his installation work and a zine in a curated show at a gallery in Pune.
Ashutosh has edited a volume of Greatest Marathi Stories Ever Told (Aleph Book Company). Also, he has co-edited a volume of essays on performance-making and the archive, and an anthology of art writing in Marathi published by Routledge India and Sharjah Art Foundation respectively. Ashutosh edits हाकारा । hākārā, a peer-reviewed bilingual journal of creative expression published online in Marathi and English.
Kavya Srinivasan (she/they) is a writer, theatre-maker and storyteller. She has been on stage for the last fifteen years. She received a distinction in ATCL Diploma in Performance Arts from the Trinity College of London in 2021. Kavya has been training and working with Our Theatre Collective as a performer since 2020. As a playwright, she has written Aashi and Renu and co-written Monsters in the Dark.
Kavya runs a weekly writing community called The Write Time, which meets every week for the last year, and supports a community of writers devoted to their craft. In her free time, she can be found reading, daydreaming and singing.
Rashmi is a theatre director and facilitator. The intersection of Kannada and English theatre as well as that of playback and proscenium theatre is an area that she loves working with. She also has a background in psychology, which she often uses as a tool in playmaking. She is the artistic director of jijji productions, one of the co-founders of citylamps playback theatre and works as a corporate facilitator at Navgati.
She has directed two plays for the Rangashankara youth festival and was awarded the Gender Bender grant by Sandbox Collective and Max Muller Bhavan in 2020. She is currently engaged in creating written works for children with Bhasha Centre and KinderKatha (a book for teenagers on Gender Fluidity - Hudgana Hudgina? She has also performed in over 100 playback and improvisation performances. She is drawn to Gender, Mental health and Absurdism in performance.
Nisha Abdulla is a Bangalore based theatre maker and educator. She is the Artistic Director of Qabila, where she makes work that centers new writing and the dissenting imagination. She is also co-founder of OffStream, a collective of artists that makes anti-caste work and enables community around it. Currently, she teaches performance making at Azim Premji University. And is knee deep in a new production as a grantee of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Abhimanyu Acharya is a multilingual playwright, short story writer, and translator working in English, Hindi, and Gujarati. He is currently based in Ontario, Canada. He has been a recipient of the Sanhita Manch Playwriting Award and the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in 2020 and has been long-listed thrice for TOTO awards for creative writing in English. His plays have been performed in India and Canada in multiple cities. He recently submitted his doctoral dissertation at the University of Western Ontario on the aesthetics and politics of modern Gujarati Theatre in colonial India.
Neeraja started her theatre journey in 2013 and co-founded an amateur theatre group called Tanariri with Pranav Patadiya. The group went on to produce plays such as Aditya Sudarshan’s ‘Green Room’, Badal Sircar’s ‘Evam Indrajit’, Manav Kaul’s ‘Aisa Kehte Hai’ and Manjula Padmanabhan’s ‘Lights out’. Neeraja has served the group in several roles as an actor, backstage crew and as a producer. ‘Nerkku Ner’ [Face to Face] is her first play, originally written in Malayalam and translated to English.
Ranganath Shivamogga is a young practicing theatre and film artist from Karnataka. He studied theatre at Ninasam Theatre Institute in Heggodu, Karnataka and went on to participate in a young directors workshop organized by Ranga Shankara. He has directed seven plays: Asura, Alilu Ramayana, Oorubhanga, Bhagavadajjukeeyam, Guddadiligala Kathi, The Inspector General, Kempu May Dina and Koneya Uttara. He also wrote another play called GORUKANA 1974 Ahimso Parama Dharmah.
Apart from theatre, Ranganath has acted in Kannada web series and films such as Ramesh Suresh Madhumaga, Andondittu Kala, and Saptha Sagaradache Ello. He has also played the lead role in an anthology directed by Ananya Kasaravalli.
Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppet theatre director and puppet designer. She is the Founder and Managing Trustee of The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, a puppet theatre group based in Delhi, India since 1998.
She has a Diploma in Puppet theatre from DI (Dramatiska Institutet for Film, T.V , Drama and Radio) at The University of Stockholm, Sweden and has been trained in traditional glove puppetry, from La Scoula Della Guaratelle (School of Traditional Glove puppetry) in Naples, Italy under Bruno Leone in 2002.
Anurupa uses puppets to create visual narratives, works with communities using puppets to represent their own stories – including in conflict zones such as Kashmir. She is committed to the training of a future generation of professional puppeteers and facilitates regular workshops, organises masterclasess and in 2018 co-founded the Foundation Program the first professional puppet training program in India, under the aegis of UNIMA, the puppeteers union.
Choiti Ghosh is an Object Theatre artist, puppeteer, actor, singer, writer and artistic director of Mumbai-Delhi based object theatre company — Tram Arts Trust. Born into a family of theatre artists, she was initiated onto stage at a young age.
She began her professional career in theatre in 1998. In 2010, following a brief professional workshop in Object Theatre under the Belgian Object Theatre artiste Agnés Limbos at the Institut International de la Marionnette (IIM), in Charleville Mezieres, France, Choiti has since dedicated her entire time to the practice and dissemination of Object Theatre in India.
Her artistic practice includes workshops with children and young people; workshops with teachers, and adults who work with children; training programmes for theatre artists and other arts based professionals; marginalised children and youth.
Yugandhar Deshpande is a playwright, theatre curator and a screenwriter. The films he has written are Phool, LalitA and an untitled anthology directed by Vikram Phadnis. As a playwright, Yugandhar has written ‘Bail Melay’, for which he was nominated Best Playwright at Maharashtra Times Sanman in 2016, ‘Agdich Shunya’, ‘Absolute’ and others. He was also a Tendulkar-Dubey fellowship awardee in 2017. Currently, his new play ‘Sad Sakharam’ is under production.
Manjima Chatterjee is a drama explorer, teacher and occasional writer. Manjima read English at St Stephen's College, Delhi University, and Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics. She has a PG Diploma in Drama in Education (Theatre for Education and Social Transformation) under Maya Krishna Rao from Shiv Nadar University. Her articles have appeared in Arts Praxis, the Arts-in-Education journal of NYU Steinhardt, as well as in anthologies such as Nation, Nationalism and the Public Sphere (Sage; Banerjee and Ray, eds) and Projects/Processes, the Serendipity Arts Festival collection, and newspapers such as The Hindu, The Hindu Business Line, Education World and Hindustan Times. She was shortlisted for the BBC's International Radio Playwriting Competition and won The Hindu Metro Plus Playwright Award in 2013. Her book, Two Plays on Hunger, was published by Dhauli Press in 2018, and her play, The Mountain of Bones, was published in Creating a Profession: Disparate Voices of Indian Women Playwrights, an anthology of works by female Indian playwrights.
Manjima has conducted workshops on drama-in-education with teachers from schools across the country, including the DPS group of schools, and engages actively in conversations around the shape and future of arts education, in particular. She is the Central Arts Curriculum Lead at Shiv Nadar School, and also serves as Vice Principal at the Noida campus.
Akash Mohimen has been working as a writer since 2010. After his first play in 2010, ‘Might Mirembayanna’ and the ‘Prisoners of Peace’, he was selected for Writers' Bloc 3, where he developed ‘Mahua’, which opened in 2012. Since then he adapted Badal Sircar’s ‘Beyond the Land of Hattamala’, wrote ‘The Wall of Colours’ and ‘Under the Chestnut Tree’, the latter being shortlisted for the Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award, 2013. In 2017 he forayed into film by co-writing the screenplay for ‘Rukh’.
Deepika Arwind is a playwright, theatremaker and performer based in Bangalore, India. Her work has centered the female body on stage and off of it, and she continues to expand her practice in pursuit for a form that is both inventive and autonomous, working closely with sound and movement.
She has won and been nominated for several awards for her work. Her play Phantasmagoria (represented by Drei Masken Verlag) will be at the Kali Theatre as part of the International Festival of Plays. She is also part of the newly conceived performance International Conference of Insecurity (Gesnerallee, Zurich, Nov-Dec 2022), with a collective of performers from 8 countries. She will be a playwright-in-residence at the Residenztheater (Munich) in 2023. She will also be a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2023. She is the author of a book for young people Sarayu (2018) published by Le Cosmographie Editions.
Neel Chaudhuri is a playwright and theatre director based in New Delhi. He is a founder member and former Artistic Director of The Tadpole Repertory. Neel studied history and film and spent a year working in Berlin before returning to India to work in the theatre. His plays include, Godspeed (TFA Award for Creative Writing 2009),Taramandal (The Hindu MetroPlus Playwright Award 2010), Still and Still Moving (developed in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre, London) and Quicksand. Neel is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab in New York, and PLUTO, a collective of international theatre directors. He teaches as visiting faculty at Ashoka University and Drama School Mumbai and works actively as a repertory mentor with Aagaaz Theatre Trust.