Is Professor of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, University of Georgia/Athens. Recent productions he has directed include, Silence! The Court is in Session, Romance in the Garden, and Tartuffe for the Indian Cultural Society of East Brunswick, The Little Clay Cart, Sacrifice, and Hayavadana for Epic Actors Workshop, as well as Romeo and Juliet,Hamlet, and A Christmas Carol for Circle Ensemble Theatre of Athens, Georgia. He continues to develop a website on kutiyattam (sanskrittheatre.com) perhaps the oldest genre of theatre that has survived from ancient India. His most recent publication is Kutiyattam and Kerala Temples: Patterns of Survival by Margi Madhu Chakyar. He edited the book and assisted in the translation from Malayalam to English with the late L.S. Rajagopalan. His “Indian Traditional Theatre” was published in the Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre, London: Routledge, 2016
Dr. Meena Nerurkar
Dr. Meena Nerurkar
Is a gynecologist, actor, director, author, playwright, dancer and choreographer.
As a gynecologist- she was invited by President Bill Clinton to the White House to participate in health care reform.
As an actor- she has appeared on American TV in the ABC soap opera “One Life to Live,” the Bollywood movie “English Vinglish,” and the Hollywood movies “Sleepwalkers Anonymous” and “Dr. Ravi & Mr. Hyde.”
As a director- she was given the Mangeshkar Foundation’s Adishakti Award and the Jagatik Marathi Academy’s Award for “Sundara Manamadhe Bharli.”
As an author- her two books were among the Top 10 Books by the Maharashtra Times.
And as a playwright- she received the Annasaheb Kirloskar Purskar and the Maharashtra State Award for Best Playwright for “Awagha Rang Ekachi Zala.”
She is fluent in English, Marathi ,Gujarati and Hindi, Dr Meena Nerurkar divides her time between Philadelphia & Mumbai.
Please visit her website: www.MeenaNerurkar.com
Director Ashok Vanjari
has a long association with experimental Theater movement in India. He has directed and acted in award winning one-acts, full-length dramas as well as films in India. He was the creator of successful ad films related to top brands like Ericson, Raymonds, and Digjam. In the US he has directed popular shows like Western Ghats, Suryachi Pilley and critically acclaimed drama Udgaar.
Dr. Dipan Ray
Dr. Dipan Ray
A Pharmacist & Scientist by profession but theater is his passion. Even after a successful research career with three patents and several publications, he opted to work in an educational institute rather than working for the much more lucrative corporate world of pharmaceutical research, so as to have equal time to devote to his first love, ‘theater’. Ray began his acting tour, in the seventies and eighties in Kolkata under the guidance of Debesh Chakroborty, a disciple of Utpal Dutta and formed his own group Epic Actors’ Workshop in 1988 after moving to United States. But his greatest contribution to the Indian Theatre in general and Bengali Theatre in particular has been his pioneering work in introducing concept of South Asian Theater Festival in North America in 2006 that has become an annual event in New Jersey. In 2008, he produced South Asian Theater Festival in collaboration with New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a sixth largest cultural center in North America that opened a new chapter in Indian Theater in USA. He also organized several theater workshops for Children and Youth with the help of Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission. He introduced ancient Indian classics in contemporary form to main stream American audience. He made overseas tours with his team to present “Pagla Ghoda”, Directed by Amol Palekar in 2008 and Tagore’s “Sacrifice” in 2011 in many Cities of India.
He has been recipient of several awards of recognition from organizations such as Bangladesh Theater of America and New York City Council in 2005, Indo Canada Overseas Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto in 2004 and Rittik of Berhampur, West Bengal in 2010, Good Citizen award from Indian Cultural Society in 2012. He is also being interviewed extensively by paper media such as Star ledger, Home News Tribune, News India, Mumbai Theater Guide and The Times of India and electronic media such as EBC Radio, TV Asia, ITV, Tara TV and Doordarshan
On professional side, he has been involved in several missionary projects that include a trip to Haiti after the earthquake disaster in early 2010 and organized a health camp with his students in two slums in Delhi and Agra in 2012. He is also a volunteer for American Red Cross and had the opportunity to serve the families of victims during the 10th anniversary of 9/11 memorial. He is currently serving in the committee for Hepatitis B & C Coalition and Immunization Coalition with Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York City to determine policies to improve health outcome of New York City residents.
Is working in the field of media for the past 30 years. Though his expertise lies in Marathi experimental and commercial theatre, for the past 11 years his work in the field of Films and Television has also left its mark.
After completing his Diploma in Printing and technology he perceived his graduation from Arts faculty. Then he did his Masters in Politics. Simultaneously he also did a Diploma in Journalism but his main interest and passion was theatre and films. His first commercial play was ‘Ata Kasa Wattay’ in the year 1999.
Then a series of plays like, ‘Case No. 99 (2000)’,’ Rangya Ragila Re(2002)’, ‘Ganapati Bappa Moraya(2003)’, ‘Songati(2004)’, ‘Achanak(2006),’ Dili Supari Bayako chi(2006)’, ‘Ananddoh(2010)’,’ Ekda Pahava N Karun(2013)’, ‘Nakalat Disale Sare(2013)’, ‘Mi Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (2015)’ and ‘Shyampat (2017)’ saw a great success.
He created his own audience and they became fan of his writing and different style of direction. His film career also began at the same time. In 1995 he did his first film ‘Limited Manuski’ as an Associate Director. He was assistant director for ‘Veer Savarkar’. In the year 2006 he did his first commercial film ‘Achanak’.
Then in the year 2010 came his second film ‘Dadagi Mule’, ‘Maza Bhirbhira’ in the year 2017 and he is all ready with a new flower in his bouquet with ‘Jyoti’ a short film reveals a story of 1851. Few of his famous films as an actor are ‘Rama Madhav’ ‘Drushyam’, ‘Manja’, ‘Faster Fene’ and ‘Ye Re Ye Re Paisa’. He also tried his hand at television.
Out of the 62one act plays he wrote till date 16 were shown on the channels like Mayboli, Prabhat and ETV Marathi. Few of his famous TV serial as an actor are ‘Dilya Ghari Tu Sukhi Raha’, ‘Nanada Saukhya Bhare’, ‘Anjali and Crime Petrol’. His major contribution in conserving history of Marathi theatre is the set of 30 documentaries named ‘Itihas Rangbhumicha’. All 30 documentaries are based on the lives of veteran Marathi artists from varied fields like theatre, folk and films.
To his credit as an writer he has 64 one-Act Plays, 20 of his One-Act Plays are translated in Hindi and Gujrathi Lnguages, 15 Full Length Plays, 4 – Solo Acts and 4 short stories. The various panels he is a part of · Secretary – Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Parishad, Pune Suburban Branch. · Governing Council Member – Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Parishad, Mumbai main Branch. · Marathi Drama Sensor Board Govt. of Maharashtra – Member (2006-14) · Sansakrbharati Natya Vidha Pramukh – Pune · Advisory Board Member – Pu. La. Deshpande Kala Academy, Maharashtra · Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Member – Regional Office Pune In spite of being successful on all fronts he is always keen on finding a unique way to tell his stories. The zest to find something new keeps him going.