13 theatre personalities who are making Indian theatre awesome

Posted on 26 February, 2016 by Team Wishberry

theatre-celebs Although people will argue that Indian theatre still has a long way to go, our rich history and achievements so far aren’t ones to be ignored either. We continue to see some amazing productions Theatre in India still has a long way to go, but there are thespians who are fighting the good fight and giving us works that we probably will never get enough of. If you don’t already know, check out some of the most noteworthy theatre personalities in India!

Girish Karnad

Girish Karnad is one of the most important playwrights in the country. He’s considered to have shaped the course of modern Indian theatre. He has been writing plays for about four decades now. Some of his most memorable plays include, Hayavadana, Bendu Kaalu on Toast, Tughlaq, Nagamandala.
Theatre- Girish Image Courtesy: TheHindu.com

Mahesh Dattani

Mahesh Dattani is said to have brought a sense of independent identity to Indian theatre and he has written plays covering a wide variety of content and themes. He has is own theatre company called Playpen and has written some remarkable plays like Where There’s a Will, Dance Like a Man, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, Where Did I Leave My Purdah.
Theatre- Mahesh Dattani Image Courtesy: TelegraphIndia.com

Rahul da Cunha

Apart from creating the much  beloved quirky ads for the Amul Girl, Rahul da Cunha along with Rajit Kapur and Shernaz Patel, started Rage Theatre in 1993. Some of his most successful theatre productions include Pune Highway, Class Act of 84, Me, Kash & Cruise among many others.
Theatre- Rahul Da Cunha Image Courtesy: Mid-Day.com

Dolly Thakore

Dolly Thakore is a veteran theatre actress and theatre royalty in India. But theatre is just one of the many lovely feathers in her hat. She’s a renowned TV presenter, casting director, communications and PR expert, film and theatre reviewer, compere, auctioneer and a social worker. She’s also one of the most avid theatre goers. She has acted in works by master playwrights such as Tennessee Williams’s Streetcar Named Desire, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
Theatre- Dolly Image Courtesy: GoBollywood.com

Lilette Dubey

Although a noted film and TV actor, Lilette has been more active as a theatre artist. She discovered theatre early on in her life and hasn’t looked back ever since. She runs her own theatre company – The Primetime Theatre and has acted and directed some of the most wildly successful plays, including Mahesh Dattani’s Dance Like A Man. Her other famous plays include 30 Days in September, Kanyaadan and Aadhe Adhure.  
Theatre- Lillette Image Courtesy: DNAIndia.com 

Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shah started his own theatre company Motley Theatre along with Tom Alter, Benjamin Gilani and Ratna Pathak in 1979. He has been active in theatre for more than three decades now and has given us some great plays like Einstein, A Walk in The Woods, Dear Liar, Ismat Aapa Ke Naam, Julius Caesar and Antigone.
Theatre To Screen - Naseeruddin Image Courtesy: TotalTV.com

  Makarand Deshpande

Makarand Deshpande has more than 40 plays in his kitty. A man with an unmistakably distinct and quirky personality, his plays too have gained popularity for their unconventionality and eccentricity. He runs his own theatre company called Ansh Theatre and has made Sir Sir Sarla, Ek Kadam Aage, Kasturi, Grihalaxmi, Krishna Kidding and The Doll.
Theatre - Makarand Image Courtesy: BollywoodTVReporter.in 

Quasar Thakore Padamsee

Quasar Thakore Padamsee runs Q Theatre Productions which is known for bringing out India’s premier youth  theatre festival Thespo. Quasar’s theatre production has been responsible from introducing theatre to thousands of young talent across the country for close to two decades now. He has directed more than twenty plays, some of which include The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail, Minorities, All My Sons, So Many Socks, The Peasant of El Salvador.
Theatre- Quasar Image Courtesy: BuzzInTown.com

Manav Kaul

Manav Kaul is a popular playwright, theatre director and actor. His first work as a playwright was Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane – a monologue in Hindi set in a small town in India. His other notable plays include Ilhaam, Park, Peele Scooter Wala Aadmi and Bali Aur Shambhu.
Theatre- Actor Image Courtesy: Albert Pinto

  Atul Kumar

Atul Kumar is the founder of The Company Theatre. He was invited by Shakespeare’s Globe, UK, to direct their international theatre festival. He has translated English plays like Tartuffe and The Chairs to Hindi. As a part of The Company Theatre, he has also directed renowned international and national festivals like Theatre National de Nice, Instant Karma, Prithvi Theatre Festival and National Theatre Festival.
Theatre- Actor2 Image Courtesy: LiveMint.com

Rajit Kapur 

Rajit Kapur is a known face in theatre as well as films. He’s also the co-founder of Rage Theatre. He’s most remembered for his award-winning portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1996 film by the same name as well as plays like Larins Sahib, Love Letters, Are There Tigers in Congo?, Class of 84 among others.
Theatre-Rajit Kapoor Image Courtesy: Channel6.in 

Sunil Shanbag

Sunil Shanbag is the founder of Arpana Theatre whose plays are known for blending classic literature with contemporary settings. He directed plays such as Cotton 56, Polyester 84 which went on to garner awards as well as critical praise. His other notable plays include, S*x, M*orality & Cens*orship, Walking to the Sun, Dreams of Taleem and Stories in a Song.
Theatre-actor3 Image Courtesy: TheHindu.com

Akarsh Khurana

The man behind Akvarious Productions, perhaps India’s most prolific theatre companies today, has produced more than 22 plays and directed 10 of them. He’s one of the most talked about names in the theatre circuit today. Akvarious Productions has over 50 productions in a span of 15 years already! Some of the most popular plays include All About Women, The Adventures of Tintin, A Guy Thing and Blackbird.
Theatre- Akarsh Image Courtesy: TheHindu.com
With Bollywood getting all the attention and limelight, and theatre facing its own set of challenges, it’s definitely not been an easy road for these theatrewallahs. But that has hardly stopped any of them from doing what they do best, and making the country’s theatre scene better – one act at a time!

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