about us

Tamaasha Theatre

Tamaasha Theatre was formed in 2014 with the intent of creating engaging and stimulating theatre productions, and seeding the city of Mumbai with small, intimate, and challenging performance spaces. Moving away from large and centralised performance spaces, Tamaasha Theatre hopes to make theatre and the arts more accessible to diverse audiences across the complex and challenging geography of Mumbai city.

This vision grew out of the theatre experience of several decades of one of India’s most respected theatre directors, Sunil Shanbag, whose work has consistently questioned, illuminated, and challenged perceptions of the world we inhabit. Partnering in the initiative is writer, poet, director Sapan Saran, and a young, deeply committed, core team of actors, musicians, dancers, and technicians.

In the first three years of its existence Tamaasha Theatre initiated several new performance venues across Mumbai in partnership with space owners of art galleries, bars, bookshops, fitness centres and community libraries. We also worked closely with the Chattrapati Shivaji Vastu Sanghralaya (formerly The Prince of Wales Museum) to perform in their public galleries and lawns.

This network is a big opportunity for young theatre makers to create new work, and free them from having to hire expensive, and often unavailable, formal auditoria. Today, this network of alternative, intimate spaces plays host to a rich and growing area of cultural expression be it theatre, music, or dance. Many young people frequent these spaces and engage with the arts, often for the first time.

Sunil Shanbag

Co-Founder, Tamaasha Theatre & Studio Tamaasha

Sunil Shanbag is a theatre director and producer based in Mumbai. He founded the Arpana theatre company in 1985 with a group of his theatre colleagues. Arpana remains an active theatre company till date and has several notable productions to its credit.

In 2015 he co-founded Tamaasha Theatre with Sapan Saran to broaden their definition of theatre, seed the city with intimate, alternative art venues, and work with younger theatre practitioners. Sunil has been actively involved in theatre training, and documentation projects which include the book Scenes We Made, edited by Shanta Gokhale, which traces the history of experimental theatre in Mumbai from the late 1950s to about 2000. He is also part of the core team of SMART, India’s only strategic management programme for theatre, which has worked with about 30 theatre companies from across India over three years. In addition, Sunil has been an independent documentary filmmaker, been involved as a writer and researcher for large scale television projects such as Bharat Ek Khoj and Surabhi, and community history projects such as museums and oral history archives.

Sapan Saran

Co-Founder, Tamaasha Theatre & Studio Tamaasha

Sapan Saran is a poet, writer, and an actor based in Mumbai. She is a founding member of the theatre company, 'Tamaasha', which aims to explore new theatre ideas in alternative spaces.

Her association with theatre began with a collaboration with dancer Astad Deboo. She has written Club Desire, and Classics Redux, which have been directed by veteran theatre director Sunil Shanbag, with whom she also co-directed the play, Marriage-ology. Her first play, Club Desire, a Theatre Arpana and National Centre for the Performing Arts (India) production, was selected for National School of Drama's International Theatre Festival, Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2015. The Churchgate Couple, a short 10-minute piece from 'Marriage-ology', written by her, garnered appreciation by critics and audiences alike. She conceived the critically acclaimed production, ‘Blank Page’ in 2015 and 'Words Have Been Uttered' in 2017. Her recent play 'Waiting For Naseer’, is a quirky, philosophical comedy, that she has written and directed. She is co-writing ‘Sisters’ - a one year (2017- 18) collaborative project on South Asian women and their lives, produced by the National Theatre of Wales.

Her poems have been published in several magazines, including the Sahitya Akademi's Samkaleen Bhartiya Sahitya. The Hindi magazine Samved came out with a supplementary book of her poems in 2016. She is a recipient of the Tendulkar-Dubey Fellowship 2018 given to young theatre practitioners.

Ganesh Sonawane

Head, Administration

Ganesh Sonavane has been with Tamaasha Theatre from its very inception in 2014, and has wide experience in administering an arts organisation, and stretching tight budgets.

Nikhita Singh

Associate, Tamaasha Theatre & Studio Tamaasha

A post-graduate from the School of Media & Cultural Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Nikhita set foot in theatre in Mumbai while researching for her Master’s thesis on space and spatiality in contemporary theatre here. She has been working actively in film and theatre (writing, directing, editing) since her time at Maitreyi College, University of Delhi where she was pursuing her Bachelors in Sociology. As you can imagine, she brings a certain seriousness to Tamaasha.

She currently handles archiving, design, and assists in managing the space and our regular programmes.

She hopes to use her time here to learn more about the process and technicalities of theatre writing and creation, and to further her ambition of writing and directing for stage and screen.

Dilip Pandey

Team Tamaasha

Dilip Pandey will very soon be a man to reckon with in the Bhojuri theatre and cinema circles. His undying faith in Tamaasha allows us to make mistakes without fear. BTW, he is an incredible cook.

Sk. Maruf Ali

Team Tamaasha

AMaruf is an actor and our go-to person for technical help, photography, production support, wide smiles and a boundless optimism about all things life.