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Department of Education
Maya Krishna Rao
Department of Education,
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Education Details
Sociology, BA, Miranda House, Delhi University, 1974
Political Studies, M.A., Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, 1977.
Drama and Theatre Arts, M.A. Leeds University, Leeds, England, 1983.
Drama in Education, Diploma, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 2012
Professional Experience
Associate professor, Dept. of Acting, National School of Drama Delhi, 1985-90.
Actor-teacher, Perspectives Theatre Company, Nottingham, England UK, 1983-84.
Actor-teacher, Leeds Playhouse Theatre-in-Education Company, Leeds, England,1984-85.
Lecturer, Political Science, Kamala Nehru College, Delhi University, 1977-85.
Visiting Faculty, National School of Drama, 1990 - 2012.
Research Interests
Devising theatre – multiple expressivities – action, camera, sound/music, text
Instant creations – moving the imagination for improvised performance
The use of drama for community / classroom teaching
‘Going Solo’ – Actor Training - Exploring the principles of Kathakali as a source of improvisation for the contemporary actor, (devised a course for National School of Drama, Delhi)
Select Productions
  • Walk, made in response to Delhi bus gang rape in Dec. 2012, 2012
  • ‘The Non Stop Feel Good Show’, comedy in episodes, 2013
  • ‘Ravanama’, solo, dance theatre, 2011
  • ‘Quality Street’, solo, short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Addichie, commissioned by Commonwealth Games, Delhi, 2010
  • ‘Are You Home Lady Macbeth?’ cross media performance, 2010
  • Hand Over Fist - perspectives on masculinities’, cross media performance as launch of UN programme on masculinities in India, commissioned by UNDP and UNIFEM, Delhi, 2007
  • ‘Heads Are Meant for Walking Into’, cross media performance, 2005
  • ‘A Deep Fried Jam’, A Deeper Fried Jam’, socio-political multi media cabaret, regenerated versions- 2002 onwards.
  • 'Departures', cross media, commissioned by LIFT, (London International Festival of Theatre), London, 1999
  • ‘4-Wheel-Drive-“Come-to-me- Mr.Sharma”- Body-Fat-Murdered-Show’, comedy in episodes, several versions, 1998 onwards
  • ‘The Job’, solo, based on a short story by Bertolt Brecht, commissioned by Max Mueller Bhavan, Delhi, 1997.
  • ‘Khol Do’, solo, dance-theatre, inspired by Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story, Delhi, 1993.
  • Street theatre: as founder-member of group,‘ Theatre Union’, scripted, directed, performed ‘Om Swaha’ on dowry and ‘Dafa no.180’ on the Indian law on rape, several shows in colleges, parks, non-formal spaces, 1979-82
National and International Recognition
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Acting, 2010
Executive Summary
  • Trained in Delhi and Kerala, 1961 onwards, specialising in the male role. Several perforances and workshops in India and abroad. Roles played include: Krishna, Karna, Ravana, Arjuna, Hidimba, Hanuman, Bhima, Damayanti, Surpanakha, Draupadi, Desdemona (Othello)
  • Participatory programmes for children, - conceived, scripted and directed around themes of history and society for National School of Drama Theatre-in Education Company: ‘Pandita Ramabai’ (2009), ‘Sciva and Jagli’ (2003), Dilli Sultanat (1995), ‘Igloo-Igloo’ (1996), ‘Bhagat Singh’ (1986) All these programmes have toured several schools in Delhi and beyond, 1986 onwards
    Drama syllabus, formulated for B.El.Ed (Bachelor in Elementary Education), Delhi University, 2008
  • Drama syllabus classes I - XII, NCERT (National Council for Educational Resources and Training), 3 Member, drafting committee, 2007.
  • Perspectives Theatre Company, Nottingham, England. As member, co-devised, performed and toured theatre shows ‘Story Spinners’ an ‘Piece At Any Price’ to various towns of England,1984.
  • Leeds Playhouse Theatre - in - Education (TIE) Company, as member, devised and performed in ; ‘Pow-Wow’, ‘Heiretikos, Or The One Who Chooses’, Leeds 1985, Leeds, England, 1982; ‘A piece At Any Price’, ‘Secret Sisiters’, Nottingham, toured many cities of UK, 1983 - 84
  • Teacher Workshops: Inner London Education Authority workshop for children, London,1984National School of Drama, for primary school teachers for several Delhi schools , 2003 onwards; B.El.Ed - Drama for teacher - trainess - Lady Shri Ram, Inst. of Home Economics, Jesus and Mary College, Gargi College, 2003 onwards;, State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), 2001,2002,
Select Festivals participated
  • American Dance Festival, Durham, USA, 1992,
  • London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT, Commissioned work, London, 1997, 1999,
  • Nandikar, Calcutta, 1997,
  • Prithvi, Mumbai, 1997, 2003,
  • Amman Theatre Festival, Amman, Jordan, 1998,
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi, Bangalore, Trichur 1998, 1999;
  • Centre for Performance Research, Univ. Of Aberystwyth Wales, UK, 1999
  • Dancescenen Festival, Munich Germany, 2000
  • National School of Drama, Bharat Rang Mahotsav, Delhi, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Restless Gravity, Aberystwyth, Wales, England, 2000,
  • Kobenhavns Internationale Teater, Copenhagen, Denmark 2000, 2001
  • Kiasma Museum, Helsinki, Finland, 2001
  • Jomba! Durban, S.Africa, 2002
  • Dancescenen, Munich, Germany, 2003
  • House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany, 2003
  • Rangashankara, Bangalore, 2005
  • Lille 3000, Theatre Du Nord, Lille, France, 2006
  • Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany 2002, 2007
  • Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany, 2006
  • Delhi Arts Festival, Delhi, 2007
  • Khoj, performance art, Delhi, 2008
  • ARCO Fair, Valladolid, Spain, 2009
  • Commonwealth Games, Delhi, 2010
  • Ramayana Festival, Adishakti, Ponicherry, 2011
  • Maximum India, Washington, 2011
  • International Theatre Festival of Kerala, Trichur, 2011
  • New Park Theatre Festival, 6-city comedy tour - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore,
  • Ramayana, Cologne, Germany, 2012
  • ITFOK (International Theatre Festival of Kerala), Trissur, Kerala, 2013
  • Moving Spaces, Kolkata, 2013
Theatre workshops conducted : Acting / Kathakali / Theatre-in-Education
  • Theatre Workshop, Kasauli, India 1981,1982;
  • ILEA (Inner London Education Authority), one month summer workshop for children London, 1983,
  • Kathakali, several workshops - India, Singapore, USA, UK, 1984-85 onwards
  • New Directions in Indian Dance, Max Mueller Bhavan, Delhi, 1993,
  • Faiz Centenary Celebrations, Lahore1988,
  • Delhi University, devised several street plays / workshops for colleges, 1987,’88,’97, 2000,’01,’02’,
  • Woman In Us, all-India theatre performers’ workshop, Mumbai, 1996,
  • Drama-in-Education, Blue Bells, Delhi Public School, St.Mary’s, Air Force, Vasant Valley, British School, Sri Ram School, Rishi Valley School, A.P., etc 2002 onwards
  • Continuum Arts Project, Luang Prabang, Laos, 2003,
  • Kattaikuthu Youth Theatre School, Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu, 2003,
  • Women Unlimited, feminist publishers, young writers workshop, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, 2005,
  • Sangat, womens orgn., on gender, Kathmandu, 2007,
  • Nireeksha, womens’ group, workshop for children, Kottayam, 2005,
  • Prithvi, young people’s theatre workshop, Mumbai 2006,
  • Punjab University dept. of theatre, Chandigarh, 2001,2007,
  • National School of Drama extension programme, Madurai, 1999, Nagaland, 2008, Bangalore, 2012
  • Srishti School of Design and Technology, Bangalore, 2008, 2009.
  • India Foundation for the Arts, (IFA), Bangalore, schoolteachers’ workshop, 2010.
  • Theatre Professionals, school drama teachers, Mumbai, 2011
Films / documentation on Maya
  • Portrait of Maya Krishna Rao, film, Doordarshan, 1997
  • Maya Krishna Rao, video notes, Sparrow Women’s’ Documentation Centre, Mumbai.
  • Women Who Dared, ed. Ritu Menon, National Book Trust, 2002. (Featured as one among twenty notable living Indian women of last fifty years.)
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