Livestreamed on this page on Thursday 27 May 2021 at 5 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 10 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 11 a.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2) / 2:30 p.m. IST (Mumbai, UTC +5:30) / 7 p.m. AEST (Hobart, UTC +10).
Universality vs Plurality
Episode 8: Notes on Intercultural Practice
Unrehearsed Futures: After the Fall livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 27 May 2021 at 5 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 10 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 11 a.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2) / 2:30 p.m. IST (Mumbai, UTC +5:30) / 7 p.m. AEST (Hobart, UTC +10).
Are there fundamental universal truths in the experience of theatre, in its consumption, performance and production, regardless of where on the planet it takes place? This conversation with Sankar Venkateswaran, a theatre maker who has worked along every axis of the intercultural collaborative process, opens the door on hard truths and challenges that have been found in that practice, to provoke us to think of where new common grounds and understandings can be found for work to transcend its local contexts, and what it would take to create a new pluralistic playing field for planetary collaboration.
Curator: Jehan Manekshaw
Since his Masters in Theatre Direction from the University of London, Jehan Manekshaw’s contributions to the Indian theatre sphere have been considerable. He founded and heads the Drama School Mumbai, driven to forging a new generation of theatre-makers, is director of Theatre Professionals to promote theatre-based learning through school education, and has built partnerships across theatre institutions to strengthen the training and upskilling of theatre professionals. His contribution has been acknowledged by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the Indian government's apex body for performing arts and culture, by conferring Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (award). With a rich background in pedagogy, and practice, Jehan conceptualised Unrehearsed Futures, and co-curates it with peers for a global, holistic overview of the challenges facing the theatre industry.
Speaker: Sankar Venkateswaran
Organization / School: Theatre Director | Founder, Theatre Roots & Wings
Sankar Venkateswaran is an Indian theatre director. Born in Calicut, Kerala, Venkateswaran studied directing at the School of Drama and Fine Arts, University of Calicut, after which he trained at the Theatre Training and Research Programme (currently Intercultural Theatre Institute) in Singapore. In 2007, he founded Theatre Roots & Wings, and directed Richard Murphet’s ‘Quick Death’ (2007), ‘Sahyande Makan- The Elephant Project’ (2008), Ohta Shogo’s ‘Water Station’ (2011), ‘101 Lullabies’ (2012), and Henrik Ibsen’s ‘When We Dead Awaken’ (2012). In 2013 he received the Ibsen Scholarship from Teater Ibsen, Norway, for the Tribal Ibsen Project which furthered his work with the indigenous people in Attappadi, Kerala. He built a theatre in the region, named Sahyande Theatre, and lives and works among the communities. His following works, ‘Theriyama Nadanda Nera’ (2016), ‘Udal Uravu’ (2017), ‘Criminal Tribes Act’ (2017), and ‘Indian Rope Trick’ (2020) reflect the shift in Venkateswaran’s working context. His works have been shown at various venues and festivals such as Zurich Theater Spektakel, Spielart Munich, Kyoto Experiment, Zoukak Sidewalks in Beirut, and Theater Commons Tokyo.
Alongside his work with the company, Venkateswaran directed a number of works outside, such as Anton Chekhov’s ‘Seagull’ (2011), Maurice Maeterlinck’s ‘Interior’ (2020) for
Ninasam, Heggodu, Bhasa’s ‘Urubhangam’ (2011) for Shinshu University, Japan, ‘Tage der Dunkelheit’ (2016) and ‘INDIKA’ (2017) for Munich Volkstheater, Germany, and ‘When We Dead Awaken’ (2018) for Intercultural Theatre Institute, Singapore.
Venkateswaran served as the artistic director for the International Theatre Festival of Kerala in 2015 and 2016. During his term, the programme emphasized exchanges within the Global South to resist the Eurocentric agendas of cultural practice.
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