conversations

26 March 2021 (07:00 PM)

VIJAY TENDULKAR’S A FRIEND’S STORY: DRAMA REFLECTS THE TRUTH OF OUR TIMES

Akash Khurana, Gowri Ramnarayan, Sayalee Phatak and Abhay Mahajan Moderated by Sanjoy K. Roy

Even as Tendulkar’s award-winning production Jaat hi Pucho Sadhu Ki received threats based on its title and was not staged in Madhya Pradesh, META celebrates this formidable playwright who held up the mirror to the modern world. Director Akash Khurana, translator Gowri Ramnarayan, actors Sayalee Phatak and Abhay Mahajan explore Tendulkar’s world and talk about the threat to performance art in today’s polarised world.

Watch On

Akash Khurana

In a span of over four decades, Dr. Akash Khurana has worked extensively with Satyadev Dubey, Sunil Shanbag and Naseeruddin Shah, and is a core member of Arpana, Motley, and Akvarious Productions, three of India’s foremost theatre companies. His production of Vijay Tendulkar’s A Friend’s Story. was performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. His most recent production was Under the Gypsy Moon, adapted from Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Srikanta, and directed for Aadyam, an Aditya Birla Group initiative. He was Managing Editor of the theatre journal OVATION, and the Artistic Advisor Qto the National Centre for the Performing Arts’ Repertory Theatre. He has acted in nearly 60 films, 15 TV Serials, and web series streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. He has also written screenplays for over 200 TV episodes and 20 films and, including Baazigar, for which he won a Filmfare Award

Gowri Ramnarayan

Playwright, theatre director, journalist (formerly Deputy Editor, The Hindu), vocal accompanist to legendary musician MS Subbulakshmi, Dr Gowri Ramnarayan is a rare amalgam of aesthetics and scholarship. Founder and Artistic Director, JustUs Repertory, her multi-lingual and multi-genre theatre productions have been staged in the major cities of India, the US, UK and South Asia. She has translated two plays by Vijay Tendulkar (Marathi) and short stories by Kalki Krishnamurti (Tamil), and served as Fipresci Jury member at international film festivals in Europe. She has authored children's books, a biography of her guru MS Subbulakshmi.

Sayalee Phatak

Sayalee Phatak is an actress who is passionate not only about the stage but also about education and art therapy through theatre. She is known for her performances in A Friend’s Story, Mahanirvan, Sindhu Sudhakar Rum ani itar and Geli Ekvis Varsha, among many others. She is an inherent part of the Pune-based theatre group Natak Company. Sayalee won a META for playing Mitra in ‘A Friend’s Story’ in 2016. She has also performed in international festivals in London and Italy. She is a visiting faculty at Lalit Kala Kendra and works closely with children.

Abhay Mahajan

A trained actor and dancer, Abhay Mahajan has been a part of the alternative theatre and film movement in India for the past many years. He started his career as a child actor. Mahajan learnt body movement for a year at the Attakkalari Institute of Movement Arts (Bengaluru) and also conducts body movements workshop. He is also one of the founding members of the Pune-based theatre troupe, Natak Company. Mahajan has been part of many award-winning and acclaimed films. His nomination as Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male) for A Friend’s Story was his second META nomination as Best Actor (after Shillak, 2013).

Sanjoy K. Roy

Sanjoy K. Roy, an entrepreneur of the arts, is the Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, which produces over 33 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across 40 cities across the world including the iconic ipur Literature Festival. He is a founder trustee of Salaam Baalak Trust, providing support services for street and working children in Delhi. Roy works closely with various industry bodies and the government on policy issues in the cultural sector in India, and has lectured and collaborated with several international universities

02 April 2021 (07:00 PM)

ANDHA YUG: THE THEATRICS OF VISUAL & IMPROV

Joy Maisnam, Sajida and Mohd. Shahnawaj Moderated by Ajit Rai

Theatre director Joy Maisnam, costume designer Sajida and actor Mohd. Shahnawaj with moderator Ajit Rai explore the legendary theatrical production Andha Yug and why this age-old story, a retelling of the Mahabharata myth, continues to be relevant even today. The conversation looks at the visual aspects of theatre and the importance of stage, colour, space, movement and improvisation.

Watch On

Joy Maisnam

Joy Maisnam graduated from the National School of Drama in 2008. He has also done a certification course from the London International School of Performing Arts in ‘Devising Theatre and Performance’. He is trained in Yoga, Thang –Ta, Kalaripayattu, Chhau, Silambam, kick-boxing and has been associated with theatre for almost 19 years. He has directed some wonderful plays - Natak ho hi Nahi Sakta, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Loidriba Wari, 9 Days Newspaper, The Dance and The Railroad, The Journey of Sorrow, The Diary of a Madman, Andha Yug. The plays under his directorial ventures are innovative with different forms of martial arts and the ‘psycho-physical’ style fused in them. He has been awarded the Akademi Young Talented Award 2014 and 2018 by the Manipur State Kala Akademi; the Yuva Natya Samaroh Award 2017 by the Sahitya Kala Parishad Delhi.

Sajida

A graduate of NSD in 2008, Sajida has worked as an actor in the NSD Repertory Company for six years. She has worked with renowned directors like Anamika Haksar, Dr. Anuradha Kapur, Kirti Jain, Tripurari Sharma and many other national and international figures. She is also a researcher and a theatre practitioner. Her directorial ventures are Romeo Juliet, Midsummer Night's Dream, Yahudi ki Ladki, Tamasha - E - Nautanki and Banjara among many others.

Mohd. Shahnawaj

Young and aspiring actor Mohd. Shahnawaj has a diploma in acting from HCRFTR Mandi (Himachal) and is a trained Chhau dancer. For the last 5 years, ever since his stage journey began, he has acted in notable plays like A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Dance and the Railroad, Pravjya, An Inspector Calls, ECHO, People in the Blood, Aandolan, Bada, Tamasha E Nautanki, Kaal Kothari, The Journey of Sorrow, Banjara, Yahudi ki Ladki , Do Rang. He is the lead protagonist in Balmaji Ka Studio, and Andha Yug.

Ajit Rai

Ajit Rai is one of India’s leading film and theatre critics and cultural journalists. Currently, he is a film and theatre critic at Jansatta and the Indian Express. He was also the Editor of Rang Prasang, an international journal of cinema and theatre by the National School of Drama, and the Founder-Editor of Drishyantar, a monthly magazine of cinema, TV, culture and media by Doordarshan. Ajit started a Theatre Appreciation Course at the National School of Drama in 2010. He has been a member of the selection committee for Bharat Rang Mahotsav since 2009. Ajit was a META Advisor in 2019 and a part of the META Selection Committee in 2020.

09 April 2021 (07:00 PM)

NONA: AN INTERPLAY BETWEEN INNOVATION & STAGECRAFT

Jino Joseph, Sajas Rahman and Abid PT Moderated by Chandradasan

In an age of minimalism, dictated in part by availability of resources and part by narrative and directorial style, director Jino Joseph and light designers Sajas Rahman and Abid PT explore the centrality of design and aesthetics, stagecraft and lighting in creating breathtaking works like Nona, in a conversation moderated by theatre director, writer and actor Chandradasan.

Watch On

Jino Joseph

Jino Joseph is a Malayalam theatre director, scenographer and playwright. His play Matthi won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015 which won awards for production, direction, original script and Best Actor (Male) at META 2015. Jino has worked in nearly 30 productions and scripted and directed two documentaries, three fiction films and a feature film. He is also active in children’s theatre and has scripted and directed several plays for children. His other major plays are Kaani, Chiri (based on the life of Charlie Chaplin), Aarachar (the visual translation of the celebrated novel Hangwoman by K R Meera) and Nona. Currently, he is working as the director of a children’s theatre group called MANJUNA.

Sajas Rahman

Sajas Rahman, a writer, director, light designer and independent filmmaker from Kerala is a post graduate in Theatre Arts from the School of Drama, Thrissur. He was associated as a scenographer with Claudio Cesaero’s Leela Rama, an Indo-Spanish project, Amithesh Grower’s Thrissur Ilinx, and Stuart Dennison’s Macbeth. He has written and directed plays in Malayalam like Kalikaalam, Oru Asambandha Natakaavatharanam and Marie Curie. He is also the co-founder of Rahman Brothers Productions known for promoting avant-garde films.

Abid P T

Abid P T is an actor, a light assistant and operator. In the field of theatre for the last 10 years, he has acted in 10 plays, including Chillara Samaram, Marthandante Swapnangal, Kentonians, Klaver Rani, Kundappi Gulu Gulu and has directed 3 plays for children for different youth festivals. In 2015, Chillara Samaram was the best play in the state level competition conducted by the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and has been staged at the National School of Drama (NSD) Festival, New Delhi.

Chandradasan

Chandradasan, Founder and Artistic Director of Lokadharmi Centre for Theatre, Kochi, is a designer, director, actor, writer and translator. His productions include adaptations of the Classics (Western and Indian), Shakespeare, contemporary plays, improvised and devised productions, poetry and short story performances, comedies, and children’s plays. He has designed and directed about 50 plays in Malayalam, Kannada, Finnish, Hindi, Lithuanian, Tamil, Sanskrit, and English, including 10 plays for children which have been performed internationally at festivals. He is also a published writer of original plays and articles on theatre/performance studies. He is the recipient of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award in 2004, the META award for Best Play in 2008, and a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship for professional and academic excellence.

16 April 2021 (07:00 PM)

LASSANWALA: WHAT LIES INSIDE THE ACTOR’S BAG OF TRICKS?

Hemant Pandey, Vidit Tripathi, Alok Kumar, Himanshu Talreja and Anadi Nagar Moderated by Gopal Datt

Director Hemant Pandey, scriptwriter Vidit Tripathi, actors Alok Kumar and Himanshu Talreja and music composer Anadi Nagar explore the challenges that are put on actors by the director and scriptwriter in a production. In a conversation moderated by Gopal Datt, they look at the techniques and tricks that actors use to sustain their performances and the different styles of acting that are called upon to keep audiences riveted.

Watch On

Hemant Pandey

An actor and a theatre enthusiast whose association with the craft has spanned over 16 years, Hemant started acting at the age of 13. He was elected President of the Hansraj Dramatics Society while studying at Delhi University, and participated in several workshops organized by National School of Drama’s Theatre In Education Company (T.I.E.).

Vidit Tripathi

Vidit is a Mumbai-based screenwriter and playwright. His work in theatre include Lassanwala which he wrote and produced, and Hello Farmaaish, for which he did Hindi dialogues. His upcoming work as a screenwriter include titles like Delhi Crime Season 2 for Netflix and a feature film titled - Durga.

Alok Kumar

Alok was featured in the film Shuttlecock Boys (2010) which was released by PVR Pictures. He has worked in television shows for Sony, Colors and Life Ok. He has also acted in films like Band Baja Baarat, Baby and Rajjo. He is a regular feature in the famed show Crime Patrol. He won a META for Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male) in the play Lassanwala. Alok Kumar was recently featured in Erosnow series 'Flesh' and Amazon commercial 'Apni Dukaan'.

Himanshu Talreja

Himanshu Talreja is an actor who graduated from the Flame School of Performing Arts, Pune. He received the Thespo's Best Actor award in 2015 and was nominated for a META in 2017 for Lassanwala. Currently, he is playing Bhagat Singh in Gagan Damama Bajyo directed by Piyush Mishra.

Anadi Nagar

Anadi Nagar is a music composer, music director, singer and vocal coach who hails from a family with a legacy of music and theatre. A recipient of two META nominations for Best Innovative Sound Design (Lassanwala 2017, Gagan Damama Bajyo 2020), Anadi has been working professionally for the last four years on stage. He has composed and directed the music for acclaimed plays like Menghaobi The Fair One (directed by Mahesh Dattani), Lassanwala (directed by Hemant Pandey) to name a few. He has also been part of acclaimed plays as lead vocalist, music arranger, vocal coach and been associated with prestigious festivals across India like the Hindu, Prithvi, META & Serendipity.

Gopal Datt

Gopal Datt, an actor and writer, finished an acting course from the National School of Drama and moved to Mumbai. He acted in several stage plays and worked with many theater directors. He got his first break in Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai (2001). After that, he played roles in Tere Naam, Kaushik Ghatak's 2014 Samrat & Co., in the National Award-winning film Filmistaan, and A Simple Murder among others. Gopal also works on many web series and has been actively involved with TVF for a very long time. He is known for his comedy roles in AIB videos.

23 April 2021 (07:00 PM)

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: WEAVING A CONTEMPORARY YARN ONTO ANCIENT MYTH

Yuki Ellias, Niloufer Sagar, Asmit Pathare, Adriel George and Pruthu Parab Moderated by Sanjoy K. Roy

Director-performer Yuki Ellias along with producer Niloufer Sagar, light designer Asmit Pathare and music composers Adriel George and Pruthu Parab explore the challenges in bringing a new narrative to age-old scripts and the importance of storytelling, performance and costume with moderator Sanjoy K. Roy.

Watch On

Yuki Ellias

Yuki is an actor, teacher, corporate trainer, movement director and filmmaker. She studied theatre at Lecoq School, Paris, and LISPA, London. She is now Co-Convenor of the Drama School, Mumbai. She is founder of the innovative production company Dur Se Brothers, which has produced the successful shows Charge! and Yatagarasu. Her debut feature film Love You To Death as co-writer and actress won an Audience Choice Award at the Anchorage International Film Festival and the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival in 2012. Yuki’s one-woman solo performance - Elephant in the Room - won three awards at META 2017.

Niloufer Sagar

Niloufer Sagar has worked in arts management in India and internationally for two decades. Her specialisations are theatre productions, festival management and site-responsive work. She currently works with artists including Terence Lewis and his dance company and theatre maker Yuki Ellias. She produced the three-year path-breaking project - The Re-Enchantment- in the UK, working closely with artists in theatre, film, publishing and conceptual art. She has had long associations with the British Council, the National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Jindal Arts Centre, and theatre companies Masque and Rage.

Asmit Pathare

Asmit Pathare is a screenwriter, filmmaker and stage-lighting designer. His films have been screened at MAMI, IFFLA, Kerala Film Festival and Sapporo Short Film Fest in Japan. He has done lighting for theatre productions in English, Hindi, Gujarati, as well as the TATA Literature Live Festival, Mumbai.

Pruthu Parab

Pruthu Parab is a music composer, producer, sound engineer and educator, who has been working professionally in music for over a decade. He has had experience working in advertising, Bollywood, and independent music while constantly pursuing new and innovative ways to collaborate with other artists and creators. This has led him to working with mixed media artists as well as theatre-makers and movement artists. Currently, he runs Echologue Studios in a quaint part of Goa, while spending time teaching English in a school there.

Adriel George

Adriel George is a music composer and producer who conceptualises and provides audio-based solutions for a range of mixed media, including advertising for television and web-based platforms, radio, theatre and art. He has worked with brands such as Bajaj Electricals, Lenovo, Trivago, SAIL, Godrej, Quick Heal and Bharti AXA Life Insurance and has also composed for Mahesh Dattani's play-turned-film Hasmukh Saab ki Wasihat, which was produced by Nandita Das's company Cineplay. He has worked with independent artists and performers such as Astaad Deboo, Avantika Bahl and Ali Akbar Mehta. In August 2017, he was a part of a contingent to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as music composer for the play Elephant in the Room, a META-winner.

Sanjoy K. Roy

Sanjoy K. Roy, an entrepreneur of the arts, is the Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, which produces over 33 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across 40 cities across the world including the iconic ipur Literature Festival. He is a founder trustee of Salaam Baalak Trust, providing support services for street and working children in Delhi. Roy works closely with various industry bodies and the government on policy issues in the cultural sector in India, and has lectured and collaborated with several international universities