Theatre is a big part of Indian art and culture that serves as a reflection of society at different points of time. Students in schools and educational institutions continue to explore theatrical skills to educate masses on social issues.
Before the silver screen became the mainstream form of entertainment, travelling and stage theatres were a key form of artistic expression.
HerStory takes a look at the doyennes of theatre in India.
Daughter of the late Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal, Sanjana Kapoor was born into an illustrious family of theatre and film personalities.
She made her acting debut in Aparna Sen’s 36 Chowringhee Lane in 1981 and went on to play roles in Hindi films Utsav, Salaam Bombay, and a few others. In the 1990s, Sanjana shifted her focus to theatre. She revived the Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai, which was founded by her parents as a tribute to her grandfather and thespian Prithviraj Kapoor. In 1991, she played the role of the Japanese wife in the theatre production of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon.
After her departure from Prithvi in 2012, she co-founded Junoon, an organisation committed to bringing theatre and arts to a wider audience. Junoon closed down on March 31 last year.
In January 2021, Sanjana received the prestigious French honour of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) for her outstanding contribution to theatre.