ACTING & DIRECTION
Currently the Dean Academics, Centre In-Charge and In-Charge of Cultural Exchange Programme of National School of Drama, Dr. Abhilash Pillai is a play director, pedagogue, and scholar of contemporary Indian Theatre, who has directed more than 30 productions in various Indian languages and English. He is often credited as one of the initiators of digital theatre in Modern Indian Drama with ‘Anth Ananth’, a 1995 production of NSD Repertory Company. His theatre reinforces the past and also the present through 20th and 21st century Indian Pop visuals, video, recorded sound and other technological interventions. His works draw on a wide array of materials but are presented in a contemporary aesthetic style and envision a dialogue between practice and scholarship that seeks to augment the perspective with critical knowledge about various issues concerned. As a theatre maker, he has been involved in several collaborative projects, international and national, and initiated first-ever collaboration between NSD and a Circus Company, culminating in a production ‘Clowns & Clouds’.
He did his graduation in BTA (Bachelor of Theatre Arts), Calicut University in 1991; did a three-year post-graduate diploma in dramatics from the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi in Design & Direction, with distinction in 1994; passed a two-year diploma in Theatre Production and Stage Management with honours from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London in 1998. Later, he did a one year intensive training in advanced theatre direction in association with eminent directors in the Orange Tree Theatre, U.K. from 1998-1999, and achieved Ph. D. from Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2012. He started his artistic life as an artistic director of Abhinaya Theatre and Research Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in 1999.
Dr. Pillai has authored a book on C.N. Sreekantan Nair – Vision and Mission of a Theatre Activist –published by the Central Sahitya Akademi. He has contributed articles on theatre in leading publications, attended seminars and conducted several workshops in India and abroad.
Dr. Pillai served as Dean Academics of NSD during 2008-2011. He has been Artistic Director and Chief Curator of National Theatre Festival organised by Information & Public Relations Department of the Government of Kerala and ITFoK (International Theatre Festival of Kerala) organised by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi for couple of years. Besides, he was the Chief Technical Coordinator and Steering Committee Member of Bharat Rang Mahotsav from 2008- 2011. He is also the Advisory Committee member of 21st BRM.
Among many awards, he has received the prestigious Sanskriti Award for achievements in theatre in 2002-03, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Award for theatre direction in 2012 and National School of Drama’s Manohar Singh Smriti Puraskar in 2009. He can be visited at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhilash_Pillai, https://en.everybodywiki.com/Abhilash_Pillai, http://youtube.com/watch?v=SkHYo3JK2sY and http://youtube.com/channel/UCx9BmiiM7ijPhHiH4Xio84Q.
A well known actor and a graduate of National School of Drama (integrated course -1982), Hema Singh, has worked with NSD Repertory Company for 10 years. She has essayed at least fifty major roles under eminent national and international directors such as Ebrahim Alkazi, Richard Schechner, B.V.Karanth, K.N. Pannikar, Habib Tanveer, Om Shivpuri, B.M. Shah, Mohan Maharishi, Fritz Benewitz, Rodney Marriot, Amal Allanna, and Anuradha Kapur. She has also worked with eminent Film Directors such as Majid Majeedi, Shyam Benegal and M.S. Sathyu. In the field of Direction, she has done innovative work in the field of Parsi Theatre and presentation of Poetry on stage.
Apart from 15 productions in Parsi Style to her credit, she has directed plays of other genres as well (such as in Bhawai, Farce, Nautanki and Realism). She has written analytical articles on theatre, has translated plays, and was a theatre critic for ‘Jansatta’, a Hindi newspaper. Her translation of Strindberg’s ‘A Dream Play’ has been published by Central Sahitya Academy. She has translated Cicely Berry’s book ‘Voice and the Actor’ into Hindi. She has taught Voice & Speech and Acting at NSD, SRC, Madhya Pradesh Drama School and Bhartendu Natya Academy. She has extensively travelled abroad having performed and conducted workshops on theatre.
She is a member of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association) and has taken master classes at VASTA Singapore, on the Traditional Indian Art of Storytelling: Actor, Rasa, Body and Voice. Her portrayal of Imarti Devi in a T.V. serial has fetched her ‘Indian Television Academy Award’ for the Best Actress. In 2008, she was awarded with NSD’s prestigious ‘Manohar Singh Smriti Award’ for her contribution to theatre. She is a recipient of Central Sangeet Natak Academy Award-2017 for her contribution in the field of Acting in Theatre.
Abdul Latif Khatana graduated from NSD in 1986 with specialization in acting. In addition to devising, writing and directing several plays that have been nationally and internationally performed, he has done major workshops on Acting in India and abroad. He has also extensively conceptualised and conducted workshops with children, school teachers, street educators, social workers, TIE artists, theatre practitioners, etc. on Devising Performances, T.I.E., D.I.E., Self Development, Social Integration, Revealing Through Theatre, etc. His notable theatre productions are ‘Oedipus the King’, ‘Caucasian Chalk Circle’, ‘Roze-nama Haftwaar’, ‘Tulsi Tulsi’, ‘Daire’, ‘Kitaboon Mein Halchal’, ‘Sorry Mamma’, ‘Top Secret’, ‘Flying Horse’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Anhad’, ‘King Lear’ and others. He is the founder member of Adabi Sangat Kashmir and founder Artistic Director of the theatre group ‘Kirdar’-Delhi. He was also a founder actor-teacher of Sanskaar Rang Toli (Theatre -In –Education Co.) of NSD, of which he sooner became chief.
He is credited with conceptualising and organising the NSD’s first ever ‘National Theatre Festival for children’ called ‘JASHNE-BACHPAN’, followed by another National Festival “Bal Sangam”, of folk and traditional performing arts by children. Mr. Khatana has worked extensively with hundreds of Schools, Institutions and NGO’s to cultivate the need of theatre/drama for children at national level. He has contributed at multiple levels in devising the theatre/drama syllabus for NCERT for classes 1 to 12. He has more than thirty year’s notable experience of teaching ‘Acting’and ‘Theatre/Drama in Education’.
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.
An NSD alumnus (2004), Abdul Kadir Shah is extensively trained in Manipuri Martial Art – Thang Ta, Tai Chi, Sitorio Karate, Modern Movement and Dance. He had been working with NSD Repertory Company as an artist from 2004-2011. He has performed in major roles in plays like ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’, ‘1857 Ek Safar Nama’, ‘Ram Nam Satya Hain’, ‘Acharya Tartuf’ among others. He has also taken classes for Physical Fitness, Breath & Body Control and Body Movement in NSD Repertory Company and many other theatre organisations. He has worked as a fight & movement choreographer in more than fifteen plays of NSD & NSD Repertory Company i.e. ‘Uttar Ramcharit’, ‘Baan Bhatt Ki Aatma Katha’, ‘Poshak’, ‘Comrade Kumbhkarna’, ‘Main Instanbul Hoon’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Mashriki Hoor’, ‘Othelo’, ‘Hamlet’ etc. He has been participating in many International theatre festivals, e.g. Ibsen Commemoration in Bangladesh, ATEC International Theatre Festival in China, Colombo International Theatre Festival, among others.
Santanu Bose has created over 75 pieces of theatre over the past 33 years in various parts of the country and the world. These have been shown extensively in India and in different parts of Asia, Europe and Australia.
THEATRE TECHNIQUES & DESIGN
A Delhi University graduate, Mr. 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. Some of his notable assignments have been the installation and execution of sets for more than 2000 plays for the Bharat Rang Mahotsav held between 1999 and 2013, for Jashnebachpan and Balsangam Rang Mahotsav held from 1998 to 2013, and for the German Festival in India in 2000–01. He has visited Germany and Sri Lanka on official assignments for set execution and has designed sets for television serials. Mr. Sharma also attended a programme on advanced theatre technology in Tokyo as part of the IndoJapan Cultural Exchange Programme, in 1998. He has also supervised and executed scenic designs for many plays, including ‘Mangniyar Seduction’ directed by Royesten Abel that visited many countries across the globe.
Born & brought up in Orissa, Aruna Kumar Malik completed his B.F.A. in Fine Arts (Sculpture) from Utkal University and Graduate Diploma in Acting from National School of Drama in 2007. Since then he has been working as an actor, director, set & propos designer. He has worked in more than 250 plays as designer & actor. He has acted in few films and TV serials also. He has been awarded Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship to study advance prosthetic make up in UK. Recently, he has been awarded with Bismillah Khan Youth Award by Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2014-15. He has conducted several theatre workshops in many different parts of the country. He joined NSD as Assistant Professor in May 2017.
A post graduate from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata with the specialization in Dramatic Arts (Faculty of Fine Arts) and a post graduate from National School Of Drama, New Delhi with specialization in Design, Direction and Theatre Technique, Dipankar Paul has been engaged with Theatre Arts practice for more than 24 years as an Actor, Set Designer, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer and Director. His directorial plays have been performed nationally and internationally. In addition, he has been associated with children’s theatre activities as a facilitator. He has also been part of a few important feature films and TV serials as well. He has a keen interest in painting and sculpting.
Amitesh Grover (India, b.1980) studied Live & Digital Arts at University of Arts London, U.K. As an artist, he occupies an intermediate space between Theatre, Performance, and Interactive Art. His body of work challenges established notions of art, and seeks to open new ground for performance-based practices. He has created work on grief, on sleep, on happiness, and on several non-conventional premises of performance. His practice is driven by a personal quest, and is strongly based in research. His works are shown internationally at festivals and in theatres, galleries, public spaces, and on the internet. He is the recipient of MASH FICA Award for New Media Artist (2019), Bismillah Khan National Award for Theatre Direction (India, 2008) and was nominated for Arte Laguna Prize (Italy 2018), Forecast Award (HKW, Germany 2015).
He has been the Artistic Director for ITFoK Theatre Festival, Kerala 2020, and has been on numerous art residencies including PACT Zollverein (Germany 2018), Tokyo Culture Creation Project (Japan, 2013), KMAT Residency (Australia, 2011), Prohelvetia AIR (Switzerland, 2008). He has given prominent talks on his work at Performance Studies International ’23 (Germany, 2017), University of Exeter (U.K. 2016), Lasalle College of Art (Singapore, 2016), National Theatre (Lithuania, 2016) et al. He has been a visiting faculty at Cornell University (U.S.), National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), and School of Planning & Architecture (Delhi). He is NSD alumnus and CWIT scholar. At present, he is Assistant Professor at National School of Drama (India), where he teaches Direction & Design. His work, thoughts, and press reviews are available online.
Website Last Updated on Wednesday, March 25, 2020