Arvind Gaur is an Indian theatre director, actor trainer, social activist, street theatre worker and story teller.[1] He is known for socially and politically relevant plays in India.[2][3] Gaur's plays are contemporary and thought-provoking, connecting intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political issues.[4][5] His work deals with Internet censorship, communalism, caste issues, feudalism, domestic violence, crimes of state, politics of power, violence, injustice, social discrimination, marginalisation, and racism. Arvind is the founder of Asmita, which is a theatre group in Delhi.[6][7]

Arvind Gaur

Gaur was the recipient of a research fellowship awarded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (India) (1997–98). He was on the guest faculty of Delhi University for Theatre in education program for three years. He has conducted many theatre workshops and performed in colleges, institutions, universities and schools in India and abroad.[8]

He organizes theatre workshops for children[9] in schools and slums as well as street theatre performances on socio-political issues.[10][11][12] He has directed more than hundreds stage and street plays over 25 years.[13][14][15]

Personal life edit

He was born on 2 February 1963 in Delhi. Arvind's father Late. Shri Shiva Nandan Sharma was a Mathematics scholar and his mother Late. Saraswati Devi was a housewife. His father died on 16 April 2009 and his mother died on 19 September 2019. He has one brother Anil Gaur and three sisters: Shashi Prabha, late Mithlesh and Anita Gaur. He is married to Dr. Sangeeta Gaur. He has twins daughters Kakoli Gaur Nagpal and Saveree Gaur.[16] Prince Nagpal married his daughter Kakoli Gaur.

Theatre career edit

After completing his schooling from Model School, Delhi, he decided to study engineering in Electronic Communication. He later joined the Delhi Public Library drama group where he acted in and directed plays.[14][17] Then he worked with slum kids and industrial labourers for some time and conducted workshops for them. His first street play was with Zakir Hussein College, called Videshi Aya. It became very popular and he staged it around 200 schools. After this, his desire to express led him to journalism. He worked with the Navbharat Times newspaper as culture columnist for about four years.[14]

Gaur worked for Press Trust of India (PTI-TV) where he was incharge of research and programming. He was associated with TV serial Tana-Bana. All through his years with street theatre, print and television, Gaur had developed keen interest in direction. Finally, after devoting two years to PTI-TV, he felt the urge to switch to theatre completely.[18]

Arvind's debut play was Bhisham Sahni's Hanoosh (February, 1993). He started his theatre journey with plays like Tughlaq, Andha Yug, Caligula, Julius Caesar, etc.

He performed Girish Karnad's Tughlaq in a small basement theatre (SRC). Tughlaq was selected as "the best play of the year 1994" by Sahitya Kala Parishad.

Major directions edit

Solo play direction edit

Street plays edit

Gaur directed more than 40 street theatre performances on socio-political issues. He has always raised voice against any socio-political issue that effects the common public. He directed street plays like Corruption, Garbage, Road Rage, and Dastak which is against the issue of eve teasing. His street plays are always thought-provoking and leave a huge mark on the mindset. He and his team performs socio-political street plays all across Delhi/NCR and the country. He is regarded as a man with a message who believes that change can start from society, if we wish to start the change.[60][61][62]

Awards edit

Gaur won the Special Honour Award by Delhi International Film festival 2015[63]

Films/visual media edit

Translation and Scripting edit

Translation edit

He translated Rabindranath Tagore's Visarjan (Sacrifice), which is performed by the Darpana Theatre Group and directed by Ujjwal Dave. Gaur translated Unsuni in Hindi; script and direction by Mallika Sarabhai.

Scripts edit

He scripted plays like Untitled, search of light, I will not Cry, Bitter Chocolate (based on Pinki Virani's book), Madhavi solo play (based on Bhisham Sahni's play) and many street plays for Asmita Theatre.

Design edit

Arvind Gaur designs lights for Naya Theatre group's major productions under the direction of Habib Tanvir. Gaur also assisted Habib Tanvir during the Prithvi Theatre Festival. He designs lights for Agra Bazar Nazeer Akbarabadi 's poetry), Charandas Chor (his masterpiece play, Edinburgh Fringe Award), Asghar Wajahat's Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya, Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna (Habib Tanvir's adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream), Canadian-Indian playwright Rahul Varma's Zahreeli Hawa and Gaon ke naon Sasural, mor naon Damand.

Major Actors edit

Major cinema and theatre actors who trained under Arvind Gaur are Kangana Ranaut,[65] Deepak Dobriyal, Manu Rishi, Shilpa Shukla, Rashi Bunny, Aishveryaa Nidhi, Tillotama Shome, Imran Zahid, Sheena Chohan, Seema Azmi, Ishwak Singh and Suraj Singh of Veere Di Wedding fame. Sonam Kapoor attended Gaur's acting workshop to learn the nuances of street theatre for her film Raanjhanaa. Other prominent theatre actors who worked with him are Mallika Sarabhai, Piyush Mishra, Lushin Dubey, Bubbles Sabharwal, Ruth Sheard, Jaimini Kumar, etc.[66]

Further reading edit

  1. "Arvind Gaur-A Decade in Theatre" by J.N. Kaushal (ex-Acting Chief, National School of Drama, Repertory Company), published by ITI (International Theatre Institute), UNESCO, Indian Chapter
  2. "Raising the curtain on theatre": Director Arvind Gaur reflects on why India needs a cultural policy by Seema Sindhu (Life Fires, September, 2007)
  3. His Voice-"Ace Act", essay by Shekhar Chandran (New Women, Jan. 2008)
  4. "The World of Theatre" by Ian Herbert, Nicole Leclercq (P-126) published by International Theatre Institute

References edit

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External links edit

  1. The good man of Delhi stage by Archana (2008-09-26) Mail-Today. Archived 15 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Founder of Asmita Group, by Rohit Malik, Delhi Events (2008.12.30)
  3. Gandhari, solo-act by Aishveryaa Nidhi
  4. "All The World’s A Platform" by Shailaja Tripathi. Expressindia ,( 2003.09.17)[dead link]
  5. "Heal the wounds" by Rohini Ramakrishan,(2004/12/11), The Hindu
  6. Dramatics Society of Lady Shri Ram College
  7. "A plethora of problems afflicts Hindi theatre" Rana A Siddiqui, The Tribune.(2001.12.28)
  8. "Mahesh Dattani's Final Solutions"Oneness Peace Festival, Hindu College, University of Delhi (2005.09.16)
  9. "Play of rules-Arvind Gaur's street theatre-Hatke Bachke"Nandini Nair, The Hindu (2009.01.12)
  10. "Nobody’s Child-Bitter Chocolate" Express Features Service, The Indian Express (2004.01.08)
  11. "The Park’s The Other Festival"Onassis Awardee Manjula Padmanabhan's "Hidden fires"-The Museum Theatre, Chennai (2005.12.07)
  12. Asmita Theatre Group