Allana was born in 1947 in Mumbai. She graduated from
the National School of Drama in 1968, majoring in Direction
and winning the Girish Ghosh and Bharat Puruskar Awards.
Her further studies in Direction were in the Berliner
Ensemble, the National Theatre, Weimar, and the State
Theatre at Dresden, GDR. On her return to India she began
her professional career and set up ‘The Workshop’,
a theatre group, alongwith her husband Dr. Nissar Allana,
a stage and lighting designer. Some of her productions
which received critical acclaim t the time were Brecht’s
The Good Woman of Setzuan, Strindberg’s Miss Julie
and Wedekind’s Spring Awakening.
In 1975, Mrs.Allana was awarded the Homi Bhabha
Fellowship for her research in traditional Indian
and Japanese theatre,an encouragement that led her to
visit Japan and study the Noh and Kabuki theatre. In 1977,
she headed the Department of Indian Theatre at the Punjab
University, Chandigarh. On her return to Delhi in 1978,
she set up ‘Studio 1’ with her husband.
of their memorable productions include Aadhe Adhure, The
Exception and the Rule, Hayavadana, Khamosh Adalat Jari
Hai, Birjis Qadar Ka Kunba, Ashadh Ka Ek Din, Mahabhoj,
King Lear, Himmat Mai and Begum Barve.
Mrs. Allana’s interest in television led to Wapsi,
a Tele-play that received an award from Czechoslovakia
in 1983. This was followed by two 13 part series, Raj
Se Swaraj and Mullah Nasruddin, which received the NEFA
award. In 1990, she received a Ford Foundation
Fellowship to research the contemporary theatre
Uptill now she has done over 40 productions,
the most recent of which are Nagmandala, Begum Barve and
char Chaughi, all under the aegis of Theatre and Television
Associates. As a director Mrs.Amal Allana’s intrinsic
interest lies in searching for new forms of _expression,
a journey in which she draws sustenance from Indian, Asian
and Western theatrical traditions.
She has received many honors including awards from Delhi
Natya Sangh (1994), Sahitya Kala Parishad (1996), NEFA
(1991), Czech TV (1982) and Sangeet Natak Akademi award
for Direction (1998).