While the city of Bangalore is well known for its start-ups, breweries, gardens and pleasant weather it also has a thriving, ever-growing theatre scene. The city is home to several talented theatre-makers who have created some memorable productions and contributed immensely to the theatre landscape of our country.
From exploring different forms, performing at unconventional venues and using theatre to talk about social issues, these groups are doing all of this and more!
With an aim of exploring different elements of theatre, WeMove Theatre was established in September 2006 by Abhishek Iyengar and Rangaraj Bhattarcharya. Ever since, the group has staged 13 productions (in multiple languages) with close to 100 shows, across cities including Bangalore, Mysore, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Some of their prominent plays are Namma Metro, P.S. I Don’t Love You, Malgudi Daze, and E=MC2. Apart from some fantastic performances and houseful shows, the group is well known for original music composed for most of their plays.
Yours Truly Theatre
Established in 2003, Yours Truly Theatre is a prominent improvisational and interactive theatre group of India. The group specializes in a wide range of styles including playback theatre, silent theatre, rough theatre, and forum theatre. They work towards a balance between onstage performances and beyond stage contributions. Some of their notable plays include Common Man by Nandini Rao and Ranji, Purple Roses by Ranji, Clt+Alt+Del by Nandini Rao, and Shanti Nilaya by Saju Salem. Their plays have received national and international acclaim and have been nominated for the International Theatre Festival, 2009.
Bangalore Little Theatre
This 60 year old theatre group came into existence in September 1960 with its first play, The Prodigious Snob. What started of as a coming-together of passionate and like-minded individuals is now the oldest and most consistent theatre group of the city. With more than 200 plays performed over the years, the group has an admirable track record in outreach activity and has also built strong bridges with regional theatre. Some of the celebrated plays include Footprints by Vijay Padaki, Noor by Kavya Srinivasan, Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde, and The Anklet an adaptation by Vijay Padaki.
Established in February 2009, Tahatto is a theatre entity with an appetite for contemporary and
unassuming theatre. They firmly believe that theatre belongs as much to the audience as it does to the creator. The group is dedicated towards presenting quirky, topical and entertaining plays. Some of them include Remember Remember, Tahatto’s original play written by award-winning playwright Prashanth Nair, A Funny Thing called Life, Romeo and Juliet No Strings Attached and K-Pax alongside short plays like Right or Left and The Sum of Your Experiences.
The Big Fat Company
Started in 2017, The Big Fat Company is using theatre to combat body shaming and breaking the shackles of media-created-beauty-standards. A troupe of plus size artists and theatre-makers, the group is challenging stereotypes based on physical appearances by offering lead roles to plus size actors. While the group is only a couple of years old, its founder Anuradha HR brings with her years of experience and a treasure of skills. No wonder the group’s first play Head 2 Head (an adaptation of Hayavadana by Girish Karnad) opened to rave reviews and has been performed at several national and international theatre festivals.
Sandbox Collective curates, produces and tours performances. It functions as a catalyst, facilitating collaborations nationally and internationally between artists, cultural agencies and art spaces. The collective is successfully creating an explosion of innovative artistic expression, one collaboration at a time. Some of the celebrated performances produced by the group include Queen Size, Dastaan Live, No Rest in the Kingdom, 1..2.. Tree and How Cow Now Cow.
Spread across three cities- Hyderabad, Bangalore and Manipal, Dramatist Anonymous (Dramanon), was founded in 2000 by Ramakrishna Shenoy and the late Chandan Shatapathy. The Bangalore chapter of this prolific theatre group is led by Sharanya Ramprakash and Sridhar Prasad. While the group has several acclaimed productions to their credit, Akshayambara is much celebrated and has been performed across the globe. The play combines modern theatrical tools with the traditional form of Yakshagana to talk about gender dynamics in society. The play was bestowed with META Awards for Best Original Script and Best Actor in 2016.