Hear directly from the curators of Bhuri Bai – My...
As part of MAP’s Women in Art and Culture series, MAP presents four female theatre practitioners, Yuki Elias, Sharanya Ramprakash, Rashmi Ravikumar and Deepika Arwind in conversation, moderated by Lekha Naidu.
This session will delve into the idea of the ‘female gaze’ through movement and performance art and explore how women’s issues can receive a balanced and nuanced representation on the Indian stage. It will also touch upon the extent to which Indian theatre provides a space for the representation of women’s concerns and aspirations today; and the role of women directors, producers and performers in leading such representations.
Photo Credits: Serendipity Arts Festival 2018 and Created with Support from India Foundation for the Arts
Yuki Ellias is an actor, theatre director and corporate coach. She trained at the Jacques Lecoq School of Theatre in Paris and is a trained pedagogue from the London International School of Performing Arts. She has performed in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Italy and India. Her theatre company ‘Dur Se Brothers’ has produced the multi-award winning play ‘Elephant in the Room’ which has travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Perth and Hong Kong Hello. Her other shows include ‘Hello Farmaaish’, ‘Yatagarasu’ and ‘Basti Mein Masti’. She has been part of the faculty at the Drama School, Mumbai. She co-curated a seminar series on ‘Copyrights and Ethics: Best Practices for Professional Theatre-Artists’ and a seminar on ‘The Economics of Creating a Play’.
Deepika Arwind is a playwright, director and performer, who has worked as a theatre practitioner for the last 14 years. She runs ‘The Lost Post Initiative’, a theatre and performing arts collective that works collaboratively with diverse artists, largely around gender and women on stage. Her work has been presented in many parts of the world including Germany, Austria, USA, France, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore, Dubai and all over India and has won several awards and fellowships for her work. Her current touring productions nationally, internationally (and now digitally) are ‘No Rest in the Kingdom’ (produced by Sandbox Collective) and ‘I am not here’ (supported by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore). Most recently she created ‘Pyaare 2020-ji’, originally created for Serendipity Arts Festival Virtual, and now an independent show. She is the author of ‘Sarayu’, published by Le Cosmographe Éditions, France, in 2018.
Sharanya Ramprakash is a theatre maker whose work experiments with language, tradition and gender. She writes, acts, directs and collaborates with a range of forms, communities and theatre makers across local, national and international locations. Her latest work includes ‘Akshayambara’, is a critical exploration of gender and masculinity in Yakshagana with a contemporary feminist lens. ‘Mythology Upon the table’ (Taiwan International Festival of Arts 2019) is an Asian critique of Homer’s ‘Odyssey, I am Not Here’ (Singapore Fringe Festival 2020) is a dance drama exploration of female censorship. Her Kannada play, ‘Nava’, in collaboration with 9 transwomen from Aravani Art project is currently in production. Sharanya is an INLAKS scholar and member of Lincoln Centre Director’s Lab, New York. She is one of the founders of theatre collective, Dramanon, Bengaluru which produces new writing and nurtures emerging voices.
Rashmi is a theatre director and facilitator. Her work and interest lie at the intersection of Kannada and English theatre as well as that of playback and proscenium. She has an educational background in psychology, which she often uses as a tool in playmaking. She is artistic director of ‘jijji productions’, one of the co-founders of Citylamps Playback Theatre and works as a corporate facilitator at Navgati.
She has directed two plays for the Rangashankara youth festival (‘Kurchigalu’, an absurdist play and ‘Aashi mattu Renu’, a queer love story). She was awarded the Gender Bender grant by Sandbox Collective and Max Mueller Bhavan in 2020. She has also performed in over 75 playback and improvisation performances. Her master’s dissertation, explored the psychological biases (in the form of heuristics) people hold against women theatre directors. She is drawn to Gender, Mental health and Absurdism in performance.
Lekha Naidu is a Bangalore based theatre practitioner, photographer, cultural researcher, arts administrator and a general dogsbody to the arts community. She has appeared as an actor in several English and Kannada language theatre productions. In addition to working as an actor, she is a director, stage light designer, facilitator, and translator.
She has served as a Consultant to the High Powered Committee set up in 2013 by the Ministry of Culture to examine the national level cultural institutions under it. She continues to teach and facilitate theatre classes and workshops and collaborates with various Bangalore based cultural entities in diverse capacities. She is currently the programme manager at Bangalore International Centre.