IN THE NEWS

Drama during COVID-19: How theatre is going online

April 23 2020

From play-readings and performances on Facebook live, to apps that access playscripts, the online space is giving theatre lovers in the city the much-needed antidote to these grim days

Provoke Lifestyle - "Theatre in the time of #metoo"

December 2018

"Theatre is a democratic craft and the first thing that has gone wrong with it is the establishment and the celebration of a hierarchy."

PagalGuy - "Roll Camera Action @ LIBA Theatre"

November 23, 2018

"...it was a rejuvenating relief to have this session amidst the internship week, as it helped us explore various hidden dimensions of our personality through a fun-filled learning process."

The New Indian Express - "Pro-Modi posts account for major chunk of fake news: BBC report"

November 12, 2018

The conference also included a play by Theatre Nisha, highlighting the simple yet compulsive ways misinformation is spread on social media and advertising.

Entertainment Times - "The need of the hour: Forming a complaints committee for theatre groups"

October 28, 2018

V Balakrishnan from Theatre Nisha concurs, “I think setting up an ICC is something every theatre group that has 10 or more members should religiously follow."

The News Minute - "Chennai theatre’s MeToo: Do groups in the city have an Internal Complaints Committee?"

October 13, 2018

While founders of city-based theatre groups defend not having a redressal mechanism owing to how ‘fluid’ the structure is, lawyers and activists contest this.

The New Indian Express - "How Theatre Nisha's Bala is using theatre to change gender stereotypes among kids"

August 30, 2018

V Balakrishnan of Theatre Nisha is using theatre to break gender stereotypes and is training kids from underprivileged backgrounds and also those with learning disabilities

The News Minute: "It's time to break free: Theatre-based workshops for kids"

August 16, 2018

TNM talks to Theatre Nisha’s Balakrishnan, who has provided theatre training to over 1,000 kids from underprivileged and marginal backgrounds

The New Indian Express - "Awarding the Gurus"

June 11, 2018

The Rotary Club of Madras East confers the Dhronacharya award to pathbreaking teachers. This year’s recipients were yoga guru S Sridharan and theatre veteran V Balakrishnan.

The Hindu - "Spotlight on the night sky"

February 27, 2018

With a cast dominated by the differently-abled, Aruna and the Raging Sun lit up the horizonStory here

The Hindu - "The stars are on fire"

February 22, 2018

This Saturday, at Lady Willingdon College, the sky will transform into an arena of high-energy action with Aruna and the Raging Sun, a performance led by differently-abled actors

The Hindu - "A sky full of stars"

February 21, 2018

The play, which has a differently-abled hero as the saviour of humanity, is scripted by Venkataraman Balakrishnan, artistic director of Chennai-based Theatre Nisha, and directed by Amit Sharma, associate artistic director of Graeae Theatre Company.

Rasa Aur Drama Theatre - "Directing 'The Pregnant King'"

Jan 12, 2018

Rasa Aur Drama catch up with the director. 

The New Indian Express - "Passion at play: Avant-garde theatre in Chennai"

October 13, 2017

When we ask V Balakrishnan aka Bala about non-commercial theatre, he is quick to correct us, saying, 
“I have never seen my theatre as non-commercial. Yes, I have refused to cater to the least common denominator, or to put up anything on stage I do not organically believe in, but I have at the same time never tried to be abstruse.” 

The Hindu - "One man, many roles"

February 15, 2017

At a time when literary and theatrical works reinterpret epics to connect to contemporary audiences, to stick to an original verse written in 1952 and present it without any adulteration requires courage. And, Theatre Nisha deserves a packed audience just for that.

The Hindu - "A man on the fringes"

February 13, 2017

“Rashmirathi is also a work on compassion, sacrifice and love for one’s motherland,” says Balakrishnan, who has been staging this play since 2010.

The Dreamscape Studio Blog - "Venkataraman Balakrishnan – The Artistic Director"

February 9, 2017

Q: What/who inspired you to take up this field?

 

A: Shyam Benegal’s Discovery of India, Amar Chitra Katha, Peter Brook's Mahabharata"

The Hindu MetroPlus - "Fitness for the dramatic soul"

February 6, 2017

“If I do not work out, I feel grumpy and sleepy. It is like not being awake and soon I am on a slump.” 

The Times of India - "The Art of the Crossover"

February 5, 2017

"An actor's repertoire should consist of not merely the ability speak lines, but also their understanding of music, movement and dance through the body. This is done using breathing techniques, yoga and martial arts," says Balakrishnan.

The Hindu MetroPlus - "Speaking with your body"

January 31, 2017

“There is a voice in your head that constantly warns you to not make a fool of yourself. Do not listen to that,” she tells us, as she asks us to move to the music.

The Hindu MetroPlus - "A cut through the heart"

January 30, 2017

"... Meera Sitaraman’s script has the potential to distil the emotional core of a seemingly-alien subject and make it relatable. And, that is an indication that a play has worked through the audience’s hearts and minds."

The Hindu - "The reading room"

January 13, 2017

Bows and arrows and stacks of scripts share space with classics, mythology, historical accounts, Sanskrit plays, and books on martial arts at the library of Theatre Nisha’s director. 

Deccan Chronicle - "In the company of Shakespeare"

April 23, 2016

Shakespeare enthusiasts theatre groups, are commemorating the Bard of Avon’s quadricentennial death anniversary, today.

The New Indian Express - "Party Bard"

April 22, 2016

Director V Balakrishnan feels the best way to celebrate a good writer is with other good writing. "Shakespeare is an idol and we wanted to celebrate his death anniversary with good Indian writing."

The Hindu MetroPlus - "An act of freedom"

April 7, 2016

"I have to tried to make sure Laxmi Bai comes as across as a human being, and not a superhero."

The Deccan Herald - "An honest approach to scripts"

April 6, 2016

“I particularly wanted to tell the story of Lakshmibai to dispel the myths that revolve around her. I feel that she has been too glorified and misrepresented.”

The Times of India (Bengaluru) - "Retelling the Queen's fight"

April 2, 2016

“The most important aspect of portraying Rani Lakshmi Bai is depicting the sheer physicality of the character. I had to develop the strength to hold a stance and to wield a sword. I trained with a martial arts expert. The physical routine was rigorous. But the fight sequences, especially those towards the end of the play, are worth all the training. And as we prepared and rehearsed, the play unfolded organically."

The Hindu MetroPlus - "All of Chennai is a stage"

March 25, 2016

“Well, we’d paid for the auditorium and the actors were ready, so we performed. It was a good show.”

The Hindu MetroPlus - "A Queen's Story"

March 24, 2016

“We start the play with the Doctrine of Lapse being imposed on her kingdom. There’s a very famous line in history, where she is supposed to have said, ‘Meri Jhansi nahi dungi’ (I will not part with my Jhansi). For a woman of her stature, who had never been bold, to have said something like that, sets the tone for the next two years of her life.”

Indulge, The New Indian Express - "Fierce Factor"

March 18, 2016

“We wanted to do something that, while catering to our belief in storytelling, also affords dramatic conflict. So Meera (as Laxmibai) sings, dances, narrates and even does sword play”

The Hindu MetroPlus - "On the wings of hope"

December 31, 2015

"I see the next 365 days like the last 365 and a million 365s before it; changes will occur if I endeavour to make it happen, otherwise it will all be the same."

The Hindu MetroPlus - "Performance in the moment"

June 26, 2015

"I tell actors you can never become a character. You can’t get into the skin of the character. But you can create an illusion of a character. Like any craft, the craft of acting has to be practiced.”

The Hindu MetroPlus - "Staging life on his own terms"

March 25, 2015

"I want theatre to create a feeling of communion, the way you connect with one another in a place of worship. Most importantly, I want to create work that stays with you for the rest of your lives; that will be with me for the rest of my life.” 

Youth ki Awaaz - "Meet Bala, The Artist Who Brought Mature, Intelligible And Responsible Theatre To Chennai"

Aug 5, 2014

"We approached a sponsor to bring down Mallika Sarabhai for a show in Chennai. Within five minutes of our conversation they were in complete agreement of our proposal and asked us when Ms. Mallika Sherawat is arriving in town. Ridiculous" 

The New Sunday Express - "Movers at the centre stage"

August 3, 2014

"NSD taught me how to value the written word..."

The Hindu MetroPlus - "The show goes on"

March 26, 2014

"By ascending the stage we reject hypocrisy, pretence and lies."

The New Indian Express - "He watched only 3 films in college!"

September 10, 2012

"Acting and theatre were always present in my life. I was also the president of the economic society in college."

The Hindu MetroPlus- "Scene by scene"

March 3, 2012

“I was working as an apprentice actor, and I got smitten by the stage. By the end of that year, I dumped my Civil Service dreams.”

The New Indian Express - "To the silver screen and back"

March 26, 2009

"My basic vocation is theatre. As for my choice I have already chosen theatre."

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