Articles by Vikram Phukan
May 18, 2020
In Sharanya Ramprakash's Kannada play Nava, a guide for greater transgender presence in Indian theatreNava 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.
Apr 30, 2020
Irrfan Khan passes away at 53: Revisiting the beloved actor's crucial, yet little known, theatre yearsIn 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.
Apr 16, 2020
National Theatre's Dara examines life of the Mughal prince, showcases his socio-political relevance in contemporary discourseIn 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.
Mar 27, 2020
Coronavirus Outbreak: India's theatre practitioners view crisis as time to introspect, reinvigorate stage ecosystemEven 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.
Mar 16, 2020
Sunehre Din to Mitrachi Goshta: Tracing forgotten histories of invisible queer women in the 20th centuryWhen 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.
Feb 25, 2020
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.
Dec 30, 2019
A decade in theatre: Barring a few troupes, India's dramaturgy didn't quite mirror the tumult in nation's polityArguably, 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.
Nov 24, 2019
Remembering Shaukat Kaifi, who brought integrity of purpose to roles and etched her name in theatre, film historyIt 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