a bit about me:
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. My dissertation focuses on the folk theatre tradition from West Bengal, India known as Jatra, and Jatra’s contribution in asserting and preserving communal and participatory performance spaces. I grew up in Kolkata, India and lived in Mumbai for two years and arrived in the United States in 2011 to pursue higher education. While in Mumbai I received a Masters in Theatre Arts from Mumbai University. After completion, I earned a Masters in Theatre with an emphasis in Directing from Oklahoma State University.
As a member of a Bengali theatre group in Kolkata that specializes in traditional Bengali folk theatrical forms, sometimes referred to as the peoples’ theatre, I gained an embodied and experiential understanding of folk theatre traditions from West Bengal for participatory grassroots engagement. In Mumbai, I was associated with a Hindi experimental theatre group for a brief period.
As such, I believe that identity plays a significant part in the classroom to enhance student learning. In my teaching pedagogy, I use critical lenses to discuss canonical hierarchies in theatre. One way of demonstrating my attempt in dismantling the canonical hierarchy in academia is introducing plays from my cultural repertoire. Both postcolonial theory and theory of rasa have been instrumental in my pedagogical as well as scholarly works.
As part of the CU Boulder Department of Theatre and Dance 2019-2020 season, I will be directing Shakuntala, an Indian classical play written by Kalidasa.