Rituparna Das Dutta
An experienced News Anchor, Producer, Script writer, Creative Director and Editor, with more than 12 years of industry association with leading Indian television channels in Kolkata. Most recently worked as the head of the department and editor of entertainment department in News Time, Kolkata, India. Rituparna is a familiar face amongst small screen viewers in West Bengal. Her regular shows include topics ranging from politics to entertainment, from economics to music – making her one of the most sought after hosts in Kolkata. Her passion and her work in the field of recitation earned her the reputation of being one of the most promising new age artists in the field of Bengali recitation, with numerous solo performances to her credit. She had been performing and hosting stage shows in various parts of the world – NABC 2010 in Atlantic City, NABC 2016, in Madison Square Garden, NYC, Sharod Utsav in London, Corporate Show in Dubai, International Film Festival in Kolkata to name a few. Her first solo album “Sadharoni Namastute” received critical acclaims for her eloquence, freshness of presentation and rich content. In 2013 SATF, she played the main protagonist in ‘Palok’ presented by ECTA. Now she is based on New Jersey, pursuing her career in film and media industry in New York.
Parthapratim Deb, Kolkata, India
Parthapratim Deb has a long association with theater in India, having been an actor, musician and director with the famed Nandikar group of Kolkata. He has directed and acted in award-winning one act and full-length plays, such as SojanBadiyarGhat, Gotraheen, Nana Ranger Din, Jaha Chai, Madhabi, Naachni, Sagina Mahato and Choredero Lajja Holo. He has directed many theater workshops involving both adults and children. He is a trainer in various Projects of Nandikar and is a regular dramatics teacher at G D Birla Girls’ High School (a division of Ashok Group of schools, India).
Mukund Kamerkar, New Jersey
Mukundloves theater in any form. He is one of the few actors who can sing, dance and act. He started his training from early child hood as a participant in various projects for experimental theatre and children’s theatre that his elder sister Sulbha Deshpande and Arwind Deshpande were founders of. The last two generations of his family are contributing to Marathi Stage and cinema with their expertise in acting, music and singing. He was also a part of a production on story-telling and plays on the radio. Mukund has acted in various successful plays staged in the USA and India. He directed a play for ‘BMM’ – the Marathi Convention in Boston and started his directorial journey. Next, he directed a comedy play. With Recipe Book he brings his sensitive side afore. He loves everything about a play, right from creating the sets to acting and directing.
Mahesh Dattani, Mumbai, India
Mahesh Dattani is a renowned playwright, stage director, screenwriter and filmmaker.He graduated with Bachelor of Arts from Bangalore University in 1981 and subsequently did a post-graduate diploma in Marketing and Advertising Management.His published works include FINAL SOLUTIONS AND OTHER PLAYS, TARA, A COLLECTED WORKS in two volumes published by Penguin India and BRIEF CANDLE AND OTHER PLAYS and most recently ME AND MY PLAYS also published by Penguin. In 1998, Mahesh Dattani won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for his book FINAL SOLUTIONS AND OTHER PLAYS, the highest award for a literary work in India. Mahesh is the first playwright, writing in English, to receive this award. Today his plays are produced in all the major cities of India. His works have been produced in cities outside India as well including London, Leicester, New York, Washington DC, Sydney, Colombo, Toronto and Dubai. Some of his plays have been translated and performed in Hindi, Gujarati, German, Japanese, Nepali, Oriya and Kannada. Most notably, his play Dance Like a Man had 550 performances and continues to tour. Mahesh also wrote and directed a film, Mango Soufflé, was shown in several international film festivals all over the world and was adjudged best motion picture at the Barcelona Film Festival in 2003.
Meghnad Bhattacharya, Kolkata, India
During his ceaseless journey over 36 years, Meghnad did never retreat to court the challenge of making productions of various original plays as well as translating or adapting versions of the creations of great playwrights, which carries a clear evidence of his reputation and popularity. Meghnad Bhattacharya is not only one of the founder members but also the greatest friend, philosopher and guide of Sayak – the theatre group which has become a household word in the world of Bengali Theatre over the course of his long and eventful journey of 40 years. The superb efficiency in directorial maneuver as well as exquisite acting skills of Meghnad in 21 Full length and 7 Short play productions helped Sayak reach the pinnacle of progress. Meghnad is nothing but a spontaneous marvel when he makes original plays especially from the works of two playwrights, Chandan Sen and IndrasisLahiri.He is an equally competent creator of translated as well adapted plays of the great masters like Tolstoy, Brecht, Schedrin, Dode, Somerset Maughm. His miraculous and endeavoring willingness in organization, unflinching devotion to theatre helped Sayak in securing a place of honour and admiration in the heart of theatre lovers. He is the main mastermind behind the continuous full house shows of Sayak for the last 36 years not only in the different states of West Bengal but also in different corners of the country and in the U.S.A. Canada, Bangladesh and Kuwait.Under his able leadershipSayak, with its larger involvement in multifarious theatrical activities, built up a theatre hall named BIJON THEATRE in North Kolkata in 1979in the name of the legendry late Bijon Bhattacharya – the father of Bengali Progressive Theatre. Besides Sayak, Meghnad has acted in important roles in Shakespeare’s play directed by Utpal Dutta and Giris Ghosh’s play directed by Bibhas Chakraborty, and produced by the Govt. of West Bengal, and in Bijoy Tendulkar’s Kanyadan by Bratya Basu. He has also directed the play ‘Charduar’ produced by Gandhar, another leading theatre group of Bengal.
Hari Bahadur Thapa, Nepal
Hari Bahadur Thapa is a veteran theater personality of Nepali theater. He has been part of many historical plays in Nepal. Jodiyos Bhattkieka Manharu is a first Nepali play performed in Off Broadway.
Bina Sharif, Pakistan/NY
Bina Sharif is an award-winning Pakistani-American playwright, director, actor, poet, visual artist and performer. Ms. Sharif has had 24 plays produced in the U.S., Europe, and Pakistan. She has written 7 plays dealing with Islam, fundamentalism, terrorism, and war, including Democracy in Islam, Muslim Glitter, Republic of Iraq, Why?, and Here Comes The Change, all produced in NYC. Ms. Sharif’s one-woman play Afghan Woman, written as a response to September 11th and the war in Afghanistan, was produced in New York City at the Theater for the New City in January 2002. Her play, My Ancestor’s House, was published in the anthology entitled Contemporary Plays by American Women of Color and is being taught in many universities throughout the U.S. Ms. Sharif has won a number of awards for her playwriting, including the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Jerome Foundation Award and Franklin Furnace Award. She was also nominated for a Joseph Jefferson award for her acting by Chicago’s Goodman Theater. She has an on-going project of visual art and writing called “Manhattan Days.” Ms. Sharif holds a medical degree from Pakistan and a Masters in Public Health from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Seeyali Siingh, New Jersey
Seeyali Siingh is a trained and experienced actress. She has been acting for the last 10 years on Stage, films and TV. She also does Consulting for Film and Television. In the past she has worked with Public Television which gives her good insight into various aspects of film making. She feels very strongly about the War and its ill effects and hence has put up this play.
Subhasis Das, New Jersey
Subhasis is an energetic experimental theater practitioner. He has been trained in different forms of theater from his childhood in Santiniketan, India. His theater practice found a new avenue of expression when he started working with the legendary playwright Badal Sircar. Subhasis was then introduced to the “third theater movement”—a theater that defied the notions of a structured space or the proscenium stage and reached out to the audience, making the audience an integral part of the theater. Subhasis was trained in different workshop techniques and methods and has been putting them into practice in the many plays that he has directed, to much critical acclaim, in India as well as in the USA. His systematic workshop process helps explore the body, space, sound and the mind. Through unique theater games and improvisation techniques, Subhasis likes to unravel the layers of characterization and situation. Subhasis attempts to provide a true alternative theater experience.