For researching and photo-documenting the tambu talkies (tent cinemas) that follow the route of the religious jatras (fairs) in Maharashtra. The history of the tambu talkies will be constructed by mapping the film distribution cycle and exhibition patterns, gathering old photographs and documents, and recording oral histories of the proprietors and distributors of the tambu talkies. Photo-documentation will capture the current state of the touring tent cinemas, covering such aspects as the audience profile, the ingenious projection systems and the innovative advertising strategies.
For the development and staging of an adaptation of Kuo Pao Kun’s play for children, Day I Met the Prince based on Antoine Saint Exupery’s classic Le Petit Prince. This interative performance, featuring dance, music and magic, will encourage the young to explore their own concerns and become more keenly aware of the world around them.
For the development and staging of an adaptation of Macbeth in Malayalam. Using mobile scenic designs, choreography, multimedia images, ritual and a chorus, the production will explore the psychological complexities of the central characters and attempt to lay bare the emotions and thoughts that work at the level of the subconscious.
For the creation of a performance based on the traditional Manipuri Meitei ballad Phou-Oibi. Telling a legendary story in a non-traditional, open-air setting, the performance will explore the musicality of the string instrument pena, as well as draw from the Manipuri performing forms of Moirang Sai, Moirang Parva, Sankirtana, Wari Liba and Lai Haraoba.
For research into indigenous children’s literature in the nineteenth century Bengal that burgeoned in opposition to the British education system and reclaimed displaced popular culture to establish an important swadeshi tradition. The research will culminate in an encyclopaedia and a website on indigenous children’s literature in the nineteenth century Bengal.
For the production of a film on the history, form, style and aesthetics of the mobile theatre of Assam. The film will record the transformation in themes and repertoire of this genre of performance, capture the experience and perspectives of its promoters, directors, actors, technicians and stagehands, and document the impact of globalisation on its practice.
For the making of a two-part film on the Draupadi Amman Mahabharatha Koothu festival that is celebrated in over 200 villages in Tamil Nadu every year. Draupadi is the presiding deity of the festival and the Mahabharata is narrated as a story, re-created as theatre and performed as a ritual for her. The first part of the film will explore the mythology of the Draupadi cult and the history of the region, the second part will document the villagers reciting, performing and living the Mahabharata for the duration of the festival.
For the publication of a two-volume encyclopaedia and creation of an Internet archive of Bengali Theatre from 1795 to 2008. The encyclopaedia will include entries on theatre personalities, plays and production houses. A CD accompanying each volume will contain photographs, reviews and other material on plays and production companies.
For the creation of The Doorway, an exploration of real and imagined stories in the tradition of Grotowski’s Theatre Laboratory, for presentation and discussion in art galleries, theatre institutions and alternative spaces across the country. This evolving performance will deconstruct the craft of acting with minimal spoken text and design support, making it strongly experimental in nature and challenging the actor-spectator equation.
For the making of a fictional film on the Indian magic lantern or Shambharik Kharolika, the late nineteenth century cinema projections made with painted images on glass. The film will recreate the performance of Shambharik Kharolika and navigate through the lives of its practitioners. Stylistically, the film will reference the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and the painted curtains of the Parsi theatre, which influenced the practitioners of the Indian magic lantern.