Shashikala passes away: Revisiting the 'good woman' roles portrayed by the iconic Bollywood femme fatale
When cast against type, Shashikala unostentatiously strung together a series of parts notable for the manner in which they spoke of rare and treasured feminine kinship, usually relegated to the footnotes of the prevailing cinematic culture.
Does Peter Brook's Padma Shri, 30 years after Le Mahabharata, underline production's repute as Hindu soft power relic?
Brook’s citation, part of a not quite slender roster of international honourees over the years, comes on the heels of similar honours being announced for British politicians known to be ‘friendly’ to the current dispensation.
Enter Stage Right: A compelling, evanescent memoir of the Alkazi-Padamsee family, and their theatrical imprint
A marriage eventually frayed at the edges but robust in its critical mass of shared cultural persuasions irrevocably linked the Alkazi and Padamsee families in the artistic sphere.
2020, the year of resilience in theatre: Practitioners and institutions rose to the challenges of an unprecedented crisis
The pandemic presented endless opportunities for theatrewallahs to rally together as a networked community beyond the usual barriers of geography or language.
Astad Deboo: A rebel who stood astride India's fledgling experimental arts scene, and dismantled notions of dance
Swimming against the tide, Astad Deboo forged an uncommon career that operated in its own niche perhaps, but has left behind an insurmountable legacy.
Soumitra Chatterjee passes away: Redoutable thespian's stage career underscored why he was true renaissance man
Mr Chatterjee’s meditation on his own mortality unsettled audiences, but he assuaged them, “Death is inevitable, but we need to know that it is possible to at least enjoy life while we have it.”
From stage to page: Recent excursions in Indian theatre publishing provide vital insight into the form, and its future
Theatre publishing will go a long way towards preserving latter-day texts currently missing from the public archive, while allowing theatre-makers to access contemporary writings that provide a greater understanding of the zeitgeist, and take them to audiences hungry for new interpretations and perspectives.
From MS Subbulakshmi to Kangana Ranaut, tracing the journey of women in Indian cinema and the Padma awards
Padma awards have always eluded women in cinema, theatre and music. The ones who have broken the glass ceiling over the years share an interesting pattern which is representative of a creaking system of felicitation in the world of Indian art and culture.
Remembering Ebrahim Alkazi, the grand old man of Indian theatre, who leaves behind a staggering legacy
For an ephemeral form such as live theatre, where the works of most masters, especially theatre directors, disappear in the mist with their passing, it’s heartening that Ebrahim Alkazi’s legacy has been preserved for a posterity he had emphatically staked a claim to more than a half-century ago.
'Arbitrary' Facebook crackdown on Mumbai, Delhi theatre groups leaves leading practitioners banned on social media platform
Over the weekend, several members of the extended theatre community in Mumbai (and beyond) found themselves at the receiving end of an unexpected online reckoning.
FirstAct: Watch Theatre Jil Jil Ramamani's Haiku in a Bun, a tale of 3 siblings, separated by continents and time-zones
Theatre Jil Jil Ramamani's Haiku in a Bun explores relationships and grieving in the time of a pandemic.
FirstAct: Theatre Jil Jil Ramamani's Haiku in a Bun explores relationships and grieving in the time of a pandemic
Haiku in a Bun is a tale of three siblings, separated by continents and time-zones, who log on to a video-conferencing app to steady each other through a recent bereavement.
In Sharanya Ramprakash's Kannada play Nava, a guide for greater transgender presence in Indian theatre
Nava has been put together by its team using collaborative devising methods, selecting precious moments from personal stories to create a mélange of nuanced offerings that piece together the obliterated contemporary history of urban trans women.
Irrfan Khan passes away at 53: Revisiting the beloved actor's crucial, yet little known, theatre years
In shaping the trajectory of the shape-shifting Irrfan Khan, theatre played a tremendous role. Not only his performances but also stories of his so-called ‘struggle’ to break into the mainstream inspire actors priming themselves for careers in an unforgiving profession.
National Theatre's Dara examines life of the Mughal prince, showcases his socio-political relevance in contemporary discourse
In an uncomfortable dichotomy with some bearing on real-life perceptions of Muslims, Dara Shukoh is remembered as a translator of the Upanishads, and religiously syncretic to the core, whereas an archetypal Aurangzeb destroyed temples and imposed Jizya on non-Muslims even as he ruled by Sharia law.
Coronavirus Outbreak: India's theatre practitioners view crisis as time to introspect, reinvigorate stage ecosystem
Even outside the context of a lockdown, theatre in India operates as what could be termed a grossly underpaid gig economy, with actors and technicians buffeting their slender takeouts with earnings from television, digital media or film projects.
Sunehre Din to Mitrachi Goshta: Tracing forgotten histories of invisible queer women in the 20th century
When it comes to representation of queer women in early Indian cinema or literature, it is only through extrapolation that one can unearth those hidden narratives. Voices of the past find the agency to speak only years later, but still allow us a precious vantage into times gone by.
Anuradha Kapur's Daughters Opera, set in post-NRC Assam, foregrounds fortitude of disenfranchised women
"Directed by the high priestess of experimental theatre Anuradha Kapur, Daughters Opera is based on librettist Tammy Brennan’s evocative Daughters, a song-cycle of a dozen compositions by David Chisholm that gives voice to the fortitude of women lost to violence, anywhere or everywhere," writes Vikram Phukan.
A decade in theatre: Barring a few troupes, India's dramaturgy didn't quite mirror the tumult in nation's polity
Arguably, one feature of theatre eco-systems across India, with some exceptions like those fostered by the Budhan Theatre or the Yalgaar Sanskrutik Manch or the still buoyant Jana Natya Manch, is how cosily they seem to be ensconced in their liberal echo chambers, whirring along insulated from the political heave-ho outside their turf.
Remembering Shaukat Kaifi, who brought integrity of purpose to roles and etched her name in theatre, film history
It was on stage that Shaukat Kaifi was a force of nature and a prime mover with influence, who had etched her name in history long before she stepped in front of a camera