Theatre artist brings personal narratives to the forefr

Theatre artist brings personal narratives to the forefr

Anuja Ghosalkar founded ‘Drama Queen’ a theatre group focused on documentary theatre.

Anuja Ghosalkar is an actor, writer and director who hopes to bring the little histories and personal narratives to the mainstream. “I grew up in a middle-class family. Even though it was a family of theatre practitioners I didn’t have the option of taking up theatre as a career. I was 34 when I finally decided to follow my passion,” shares Anuja. 

It began with a Sarai grant, with which she documented the oral narratives of her grandfather, the oldest living make-up artist in India. “He told me the story of my great grandfather who had a theatre company and played female characters and I thought that theatre was in my blood,” she explains. 

She founded the theatre group Drama Queen in 2015 after she started looking for a producer for her show ‘Lady Anandi’. “It was extremely experimental and Avante Garde and none was willing to produce it. So I decided to do it myself,” she says. The theatre group focuses on documentary theatre which uses pre-existing material such as newspapers, interviews, and correspondences as material for stories about real events and people.

She has been organising an event called the Reading Room over the past five years, where strangers can bring letters/emails that they have written, received or letters they wish they had sent. At the end of the event, they can donate the letters. “In a world where we are told to not even talk to strangers, we are creating a certain sense of trust to share personal stories with strangers, which I think is beautiful,” she shares. The main aim of the event is to topple the hierarchy between actor and audience. These events, she suggests, would also inspire people to start writing letters again. 

“We all contribute to history. I believe in personal narratives and stories. Especially in today’s world, we need the little narratives to counter the state narrative,” she adds. 

The next reading room event will be held on November 3, 11.30 am and 5.30 pm, at The Courtyard, Shanti Nagar. 

To register email or call 98867 41331.⠀