Meet the Lab

Abhimanyu Acharya

Abhimanyu is pursuing his Ph.D. at The University of Western Ontario, Canada with a special focus on Indian Theatre. He is an aspiring playwright and director. His plays have been staged in Ahmedabad, Manipal, and London, Ontario. As a director, he has four plays to his credit, including Kiran Nagarkar’s ‘Bedtime Story’ staged at the Manipal International Literature and Arts platform (M.I.L.A.P.). He works as an editor for ‘The Theatre Times‘, an online portal dedicated to Theatre across the globe. His first collection of short stories in Gujarati was published in 2018 and received wide critical acclaim. 

Ankit Yadav

Ankit Yadav is an actor and director currently pursuing a Master’s in Performing Arts – Theatre Arts from the University of Hyderabad. As an actor his recent credits include Ghashiram Kotwal (dir. Satyabrat Rout), The Cherry Orchard (dir. Rabijita Gogoi) and Medea (dir. Tolis Papazoglou). As a student, he is constantly experimenting with spaces, materiality and digital arts in performances. He has directed short avant-garde pieces based on Elizaveta Bam and Ashadh Ka Ek Din. He has attended short workshops on Chhau, Kathakali, Yakshgana, boxing, and karate. 

Avantika Shankar

Avantika Shankar is a freelance writer based in Mumbai. In 2014, she graduated with a degree in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her credits as a playwright include Murder on the Ganges, a children’s dance-drama adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the NileChitra: The Girl Prince, a children’s adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Chitrangadha; and Tenali: The Royal Trickster, a children’s play adapted from the stories of Tenali Raman. She has also written a comedy play for adults called The Date[d]. Avantika is also a regular contributor to Architectural Digest India. 

Medini Kelamane

She is an actress and a graduate from National School of Drama, New Delhi where she worked with theatre directors like Anuradha Kapoor, Abhilash Pillai, Ovyakuli Kodzakuli, Robin Das, Tripurari Sharma, K.S. Rajendran, Shantanu Bose, and others. Since graduating, she has been working as a freelancer in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. The highlights during this time were ‘Ramkinkers 409‘ by Anuradha Kapoor and Vivian Sundaram, ‘Macbeth Techrun‘ by Shantanu Bose, ‘Apu Trilogy‘ by Happy Ranjit, and a devised play ‘Quest‘ with her classmates from N.S.D., Chirag Garg and Sweety Ruhel. She has also acted in a Kannada feature film ‘Naanu Ladies‘. Apart from acting, she directed a Kannada Short film ‘Daali‘ which won several awards including the Toto.

Saudamini Kalra

Saudamini works as a writer-director and performer in the arts, and as co-founder of the Meat Puppet Company. She also conducts theatre-based workshops with children and adults and writes reviews of theatre as a member of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC). Her work “tends to be about isolated subjects dealing with bizarre predicaments – always inspired by life as we know it”. She is currently working on a series of performances based on workplace experiences.

Shatarupa Bhattacharyya

Shatarupa stumbled into the theatre a decade ago in 2009, when she made her stage debut in a production of Mother Courage and Her Children. Since then, she has acted in more than a dozen productions in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, with directors like Mohan Maharishi, Satyabrata Rout, and Vijay Padaki, among others. She made her co-directorial debut last year with a production of Rabindranath Tagore’s Chitraa and now wants to adapt Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Debi Chaudhurani. She has finished her Ph.D. in Development Studies from the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, for which she studied local festivals in the Sundarbans.

Usha Kattemane

Usha has an MA in Kannada Literature and has briefly been a lecturer; she came to Bengaluru for the love of journalism. Though currently she’s a freelance journalist, Theatre is one of her many interests and agriculture is a close second. She has written three plays: Nammolagina Naanu, Hattombattaneya Parva, KoDdabbu Tannimaaniga and was also a theatre critic for Prajavani and Udayavani with a regular column. Additionally, she has co-edited a book called Kadala Tadiya Tallana and her collection of essays called Parijaatada Bikkalike has been published.

Kausar Nawaz

Kausar Nawaz is a 23-year-old theatre practitioner and a freelancer in social media marketing and content writing. He started his journey in theatre with a group called “Saarthak” in 2016. Currently, he is working with “Forum Three Production” as a light designer, and as a production manager at M.S. Sathyu Productions. He is managing the Lab.

Yash Kumbhat

Yash is a third-year student at Harvard College, where he is studying a combination of theatre and English. He was born and raised in Kolkata, and is an intern at the Idea Lab. He is interested in expanding his knowledge of Indian theatrical traditions.