Prof. Tripurari Sharma is a graduate in English from Delhi University and a diploma holder in direction from the National School of Drama. She has written and directed many plays, and has been associated with several theatre groups throughout the country and abroad. A playwright of repute, she has written plays like Bahu and Kath ki Gaadi, and translated Indian and Western plays like Andha Yug and Othello; and has been associated with films like Mirch Masala and Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa. She was the Indian representative at the First International Women Playwrights Conference held in USA in 1986. She has worked with various folk forms like nautanki, khayal and pandavani. Her play Kath ki Gaadi has been translated into French, and her other plays have been translated into several Indian languages as well as English. Prof. Sharma received the Sanskriti Puraskar in 1986; was honoured by the Delhi Natya Sangh in 1990; received the Safdar Hashmi Award from U.P. Sangeet Natak Akademi; and was among the ninety nine women from India nominated for the ‘Thousand Women for Nobel Peace Prize’ by an international initiative. In 2013 she was conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to the field of theatre Direction. She has served as Acting Director of National School of Drama and presently is Professor of acting at the School.
Prof. Ashok Sagar Bhagat, an NSD alumnus (1979), is an acclaimed lights and set designer. A Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee (2002), he has been involved in the renovation and revamping of theatre buildings with modern ideas and technology. His contribution to theatre technology and functioning includes the creation of a self- supporting space frame for hoisting systems, introduction of the two-bar drop-curtain operation, and India’s frst ‘light-soft-patching’ in Abhimanch auditorium (NSD). He also gave India its frst echo-shell auditorium, the Chinmaya Auditorium, in Delhi. Premchand Rangshala, Patna, of the 1950s, stands transformed with his introduction of a self-supporting hoisting-system and an innovative loop counter-weights. The recently commissioned Bhaji Gursharan Auditorium, Banur, is another of his landmarks, where a 90-ft diameter semicircular Braille curtain works to perfection. Prof. Bhagat was the technical director to ‘Festivals of India’ held in Japan, Germany, China, Thailand, Russia, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, Korea and Brazil. He has also worked as an art director for flms like Bandit Queen and Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi.
Hema Singh has a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science from Delhi University, and graduated from the National School of Drama (integrated course) in 1982. A well-known actor in Indian theatre, she has essayed ffty major roles under reputed Indian and international directors. She was associated with the NSD Repertory Company for ten years. She is known for her innovative work in Parsi theatre and poetry presentation. She has conducted workshops in India and abroad, written articles and translated books on theatre, and developed scripts for the NCERT, television and radio. She has been Associate Professor (Acting) at NSD since 2003. Ms. Singh received the prestigious Manohar Singh Smriti Award for her contribution to theatre in 2008.
A graduate from Lucknow University with a diploma in acting from Bhartendu Natya Academy and a post- graduate diploma in acting from the National School of Drama in 1986, Dinesh Khanna has been involved in acting, direction and teaching for the last twenty years. Deeply interested in literature and translation, he has written several articles on theatre. His published works include Kucch Aansu aur Kuchh Phool and Abhinay Chintan.
Abdul Latif Khatana graduated from NSD in 1986 with specialisation in acting. In addition to devising, writing and directing several plays that have been nationally and internationally performed, he has conducted numerous workshops on acting. He is the founder of Adabi Sangat (Kashmir) and of the theatre group, Kirdar. He was also a founder–actor–teacher of NSD’s Theatre-in-Education Company, of which he later became Chief. He is credited with conceptualising and organising the Company’s first national theatre festival for children called ‘Jashnebachpan’, followed by another national festival, ‘Bal Sangam’, of folk and traditional performing arts by children. Mr Khatana has worked extensively with schools, institutions and NGOs to cultivate the need of theatre/drama for children at multiple levels. He has contributed to devising the theatre/drama syllabus for NCERT for classes 1 to 12.
An NSD alumnus, Prof. Suresh Bhardwaj joined the School’s newly founded Extension Department on a one-year fellowship in 1980. Former technical director of Rangmandal, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal and a founder- member of Sambhav, a theatre group of Delhi, he moved to television and cinema in 1985. He joined the NSD faculty in 1988, and has been Professor of the Extension Programme. He has worked as a writer, director and designer for satellite channels and Doordarshan; conducted numerous theatre workshops in and outside the country; and designed and directed plays for several institutions in diferent languages. Prof. Bhardwaj has also served on the International Jury of World Drama under UNESCO. He is a recipient of the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Rosco (UK) Award from the Chaman Lal Society.
With a B.A. (Hons) and Master’s degree from Delhi University in Carnatic music, Ratna Panikkar went on to complete her doctorate in Indian music from Madras University on ‘A Comparative Study of Hindustani and Karnatak Raga System’. In 1991 she joined the National School of Drama as a lecturer (in music), and has since conducted several theatre music workshops at national and international levels. A singer of classical Carnatic music, she has scored music for a number of plays, and has also acted in productions of the Nirakar group. Ms. Panikkar was Dean (Academics) at NSD in 2002–03.
A Delhi University graduate, Amarjit Sharma joined NSD’s carpentry workshop section in 1979 and was appointed stage technologist in 1994. He is responsible for preparing set designs, plans and models for staging plays and other associated events. Among his notable assignments are the installation and execution of sets for the Bharat Rang Mahotsav from 1999 onwards, for Jashnebachpan from 1998 onwards, and for the German Festival in India in 2000–01. He has visited Germany and Sri Lanka on ofcial assignments for set execution and has designed sets for many television serials. Mr Sharma attended a programme on advanced theatre technology in Tokyo as part of the Indo-Japan Cultural Exchange Programme, in 1998.
With a diploma in acting from the National School of Drama in 1982, Suresh Shetty went on to join the NSD Repertory Company as an actor. He has performed majo roles in the Repertory as well as with diferent theatre groups. He has done extensive experimental work with the human body, puppets and other elements of visual theatre, and has developed a detailed method of expression through body language. Mr Shetty has also visited France on an assignment to study modern techniques of movement and mime.
Abhilash Pillai has a diploma in theatre production and stage management from RADA, London; a postgraduate diploma in design and direction from NSD; and a graduate degree in theatre arts from Calicut University, Kerala. A Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2012, he has directed plays in various Indian languages and English; has contributed articles on theatre in leading publications in India and the U.K; and has attended seminars and conducted workshops. His works draw on a wide array of materials but are presented in a contemporary aesthetic style. He has been involved in several collaborations, international and national, and initiated the first ever collaboration between NSD and the Grand Circus, Kerala, culminating in a production he directed, Clowns & Clouds. He was the Dean, Academics of NSD between 2008-2011. Mr Pillai has been honored with the Sanskriti Award 200203 and Kerala Sangeet Natak Award-2012 for his achievements in the field of theatre.
Santanu Bose studied comparative literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, before graduating from the National School of Drama. He started his theatre career with an apprenticeship under Tripti Mitra. He takes particular interest in making performances in multicultural situations. He has taught and created visual construction for flms, and applied digital technology to gallery-based artworks.
NSD graduate (Direction, 2004) he is a performance maker who has created 15 Performances & Mixed-Media Installations with 110 shows across 9 countries till March 2012. He completed his MA (Performance Arts) from University of Arts London, UK (2006), and went on to explore the live interface between the body and media in performance. His recent work has investigated overlaps between digital technologies, game design and public intervention. He works across disciplines and cultures and evolves his work through a collaborative process. His work has been shown in United States, Switzerland, England, Mexico, China, Philippines, Romania, Pakistan, Oman and India. He is the recipient of numerous awards including KMAT Residency (Australia, 2011), YCE Award nomination (2010), SNA Bismillah Khan Award (Direction, 2009), BC Theatre Sutra Award (2009), Artist Residency (Switzerland, 2008) and Charles Wallace Scholarship (U.K., 2005). He has been on the jury of TheatreSpektakel (2008) and was invited to give a guest lecture at Cornell University, U.S. in 2011. He joined NSD as Assistant Professor in 2012.
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