Winner of 2003 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Theatre Direction and recipient of the 2011 Padma Shri Award, Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry has been creating theatrical experiences since the 1980s with her theatre group 'The Company' and has produced over 20 plays. Her work has created a culture of theatre in the city of Chandigarh by giving a contemporary spin to Punjab's traditional theatre.
Inculcating her years of experience as a director, Neelam who has taught at the Department of Indian Theatre in Punjab University from 1990 to 2015, will be conducting a two day workshop called Process and Practice at NCPA, Mumbai. The experience is open to individuals of all ages as the diverse group will also add to the shared learning.
Additionally, you can also witness a solo performance, Trunk Tales, enacted by Vansh Bhardwaj under Neelam's direction. The story follows the experiences of an everyday person, chronicling the ‘otherness’ present in life, and exploring a way of expressing them. Neelam adds, " The stories are devised, yet acknowledge real events, family histories and personal experiences. This is a work of ‘fraction’ – a mixture of fact and fiction."
Episode upon episode in the enactment explores the politics of water, the politics of the body, the politics of food, and the politics of gender. The reference for these stories is partly devised and partly taken from existing texts. Poems, memories, references, and fragments of the text make this performance a collage of experiences, ideas, and images.
The theatre workshop by Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry takes place at NCPA Mumbai on Saturday, 26th & Sunday 27th November. While the Experimental Theatre performance, Trunk Tales takes place on Saturday, 26th November.