Arts Collaboration

Grant Period: Over one year

Alarippu, an organization established in 1983, has been focusing on amateur theatre, young women and folk theatre. It has experimented with creative drama, poetry, songs, art and clay work, photography and story writing. Theatre workshops for children and teachers have been an important activity of the group.

The ‘solo performer’, Alarippu feels, is now beginning to emerge from the wings and occupy centre stage in contemporary Indian theatre. This form, viewed critically by some as contradicting the very spirit of theatre, is also seen as the result of the increasing difficulty in maintaining and sustaining a theatre group. The ‘solo performance’, actually opens up new opportunities to the actor and also enables exciting collaborations. Alarippu, will facilitate the coming together of Tripurari Sharma, Shantibai Chelak and Sapna Sand.

Tripurari will write the pieces for the performance, Shantibai and Sapna will explore and expand their skill and range as actors. They will attempt to study closely the unifying and contrasting elements in their styles of performance and methods of acting and will unearth new areas of commonalities and differences in approach. The performance will enable the traditional actor to discover the urban actor’s method of analysis and ability to project shades of a multileveled personality or a conflict. The urban actor too will gain tremendously from observing the traditional actor’s methods of work and will learn to “shed acute realism”.

Over the coming years the collaborators will meet and conduct three extensive workshops. The first will enable the participants to get familiar with each other’s work and work methods. In the second they will study, improvise and explore the use of music and other elements. In the final phase, the actors will have created at least one piece each in which they hope to have transcended their original styles and incorporated some elements of the other’s.


Tripurari Sharma graduated from the National School of Drama (NSD) with a specialisation in direction. She has conducted more than 50 actor-oriented theatrical workshops. Social themes, relevant issues and local problems have formed the basis of the plays.

Shantibai Chelak is a folk artist. She is an accomplished Pandvani performer, specializes in the Vedmati style of performance.

Sapna Sand is a graduate from National School of Drama. She is an excellent singer and has started experimenting with solo performances.