Troupe: Jana Sanskriti, Kolkata
Jana Sanskriti, Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed, is an old and well-respected theatre movement in Kolkata, but we have chosen to include it because it attracts young talent every year. It was founded by Sanjoy Ganguly, 58, in 1985, when he was influenced by Augusto Boal, a Brazilian theatre director, writer, politician and a founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed movement. Under the Jana Sanskriti banner, theatre troupes perform in villages across West Bengal and, along with locals, highlight their problems and concerns. Ganguly practices a form of theatre where a spectator can become an actor. He believes that in real life and in drama, a solution has to come from the people. Debates are part of his plays and, at times, a scene is performed multiple times until the audience finds a solution. The aim is to blur the lines between actors and the audience. Jana Sanskriti has 30 satellite teams of which 10 are all-women troupes.