Shri Raj Bisaria
RAJ BISARIA a pioneer Theatre Director and Educator of Modern Theatre in North India. As educationist he served as professor in Department of English at University of Lucknow.
In 1962 he formed the first ever modern theatre training group at University, and later on in established Theatre Arts Workshop-oldest bilingual theatre training and performing group of the state. As Theatre practitioner, he pioneered the cause of theatre Training in North India embibing sensibility discipline and sophistication to the art of theatre.
In 1975 he conducted first Theatre Training Workshop in UP, which led Government of UP ti initiate a Professional Theatre Training Programme. Thus, Natya Akademi came into existence in 1975. After the National School of Drama, it is second National School Dramatic Arts.
Apart from this, as an impresario, he presented, out of his own resources, national and international artists, dancers mime, and theatre groups etc.
He still continues to pursue his lifelong interest in teaching, directing and exploring the nature and psychological aspects of acting through a holistic approach.
In last few years, as a senior director of Hindi Theatre, he is making effort to illuminate the complexities of play wrights, like, Shakespeare, Printer, Strindberg etc., to implore
contemporary relevance to their masterpieces, and make it more meaningful to the Indian audiences. Venturing to synthesise the East and the west, the traditional and the modern,
he has been passionately devoted to the cause of Theatre and acting.
It is his firm belief that art form can be used for its therapeutic qualities for the overall healthy development of personality of the young, apart from being a vehicle for disseminating information, and creating consciousness about social political issues, inculcating aesthetic and ennobling enlightenment and enriching the cultural consciousness of modern India.
Since 1975 he made efforts to encourage folk theatre form of UP. Directing Nautanki in 1980 for Bhartendu Natya Academy and recently directed Othello utilizing the elements of Nautanki with the professional Repertory Company of National School of Drama, thereby achieving a rare blend of the international Shakespeare and a robust Indian folk form. His prominent and memorable productions are Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear; Shaw’s Candida; Sartre’s In Camera; Anouilh’s Antigone; Strindberg’s Father and plays of Chekhov, lonesco, Tennessee Williams, Shaffer, Pinter and so on. Major productions of Indian plays are Adhe Adhure, Baqi Itihas, Suno Janmejaya, Garbo, Andha Yug, Guinea Pig etc.
He have been honored with several prestigious awards at National, as well as, State level i.e. Padma Shree (1990) U.P. Ratna (1996) Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2004), Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar (2010), Chaman Lal Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement for theatre World.