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V Balakrishnan is an alumnus of Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts and National School of Drama (1998), and the founder and artistic director of Theatre Nisha (2000). He was awarded the Charles Wallace Scholarship to attend an International Residency for Young Directors (2002) with the Royal Court Theatre, London. He has directed over 210 plays, performed in over 200 plays, and participated in over 20 International, National and Regional theatre festivals. He is an empanelled director with the ICCR (Since 2019). His international collaborations include working with TUIDA (South Korea) on ‘Beyond Binary’ (Play) and ‘Puppet as Body’ (Residency). 

In 2015, he was invited to be a TEDx speaker at the Bangalore convention, where he spoke on 'How to Create a Character?'


He has been a theatre educator and acting trainer for over 23 years. He has been associated with over 15 schools in his teaching career, and taught several budding actors at the Balu Mahendra Insitute, LVP Prasad Institute and Rajiv Menon’s Mindscreen.  He was conferred the Dronacharya Award for his exemplary work by the Rotary Club, Madras East. He was awarded the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching (2017) and was chosen for the Arts For Good Fellowship (2019).

V Balakrishnan has written over 30 plays, of which 10 have been published by Zero Degree Publications (Krishna’s Dark Son, Dwijottama, Curse of Urvashi, The Peacock Prince, Amrapali, Gallantly Fought the Queen and God’s Will), and Dhauli Books (A collection of 3 plays - Sordid, Margazhi and Arundhati.) In 2019, he won The Hindu Playwright Award for Sordid; In 2020, his play ‘Arundhati’ was short-listed for the Sultan Padamsee Award; In 2022, he was the joint winner of the Sultan Padamsee Award for Playwriting for his play 'God's Will'; In 2023, he won the Being Association’s Samhita Manch 2023 (English category) for his play ‘Exit Wounds’ (to be translated in Hindi and published by Rajkamal). Most recently, he was chosen as one of two selected playwrights for Bhasha Centre and Goethe Institute’s @Brecht 2023.

‘Balakrishnan moves with a dancer's grace on stage’
(Mathemagician, 2009)

‘When Ayn Rand was quoted by Tathagath in The Purification Hunt, it was time for applause. The man was Atlas, carrying the weight of the play skilfully on his shoulders. Hats off to the playwright and director, V. Balakrishnan for the strong script and Theatre Nisha’s performance was Chennai’s filter kaapi — strong and lingering.’

(The Purification Hunt, 2012)


Read interviews with the man himself, on our 'In the News' page.

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