pandies’ theatre, India

pandies’ theatre was registered (under the societies act 1860) in Sept. 1993 in New Delhi, India. Begun with a simple agenda of staging plays relevant to our ethos and time, it has evolved as an activist group – Left, Feminist and Atheistic.

The plays, often projects, are directed/lead by Sanjay Kumar, and essentially multi-lingual script evolve in workshops with major contributions from actors/ activists. Thoroughly researched, they are collated, at times written, by the Director in conjunction with Dr. Anand Prakash and Dr. Anuradha Marwah – creative writers and members of the group.

The group began as an English theatre movement performing the bulk of its plays in the proscenium and established its niche in that slot. From `96 we went activist, taking on projects on issues rather than simply plays and today, apart from one or two productions in commercial auditoriums every year, we work with marginalized communities in villages, slums, bastis, schools and colleges with special emphasis on the states of Kashmir, Rajasthan, Haryana and areas around Delhi.

Post – 2000, the group took a conscious decision to target anti-communal forces and work intensively with the young of marginalised and underserved communities. Our work, which is now almost totally activist, can be put under three divisions

  1. Proscenium Performances: adaptations and original scripts for the proscenium, first staged in a commercial theatre and then used also used in programmes below.
  2. Protest theatre: Against the mainstream and mainstreaming processes; Using theatre to take up issues ranging from feminist theatre to gay rights to child rights and rights of religious minorities. This includes legal and legislative intervention.
  3. Third and at the moment the most focussed area lies in creating theatre with young people with a view to articulating trauma, containing conflict and getting space for marginalized voices in policy formulation.

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