Humanities Center


Sameera Iyengar: Thursday, October 22, 5:30 PM

"Of the People, By the People, For the People: Theatre, Community, Solidarity and Play"

ZOOM Meeting ID: 986 1982 0803 | Passcode: 549197     10/22  5:30 PM

  sameera iyengar

At the cusp of Indian independence, artists turned to theatre as a major vehicle to include people far and wide in the processes and practice of democracy. People familiar over the ages with itinerant bards and wandering storytellers had little difficulty accepting yet another travelling troupe into their worlds. This talk explores the continuing life of theatres in India, connected and committed to people, seeking change, dreaming big dreams and determinedly taking everyday steps towards them.

Sameera Iyengar is a cultural producer and theatre person. She found theatre while studying mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and went on to get a PhD in theatre from the University of Chicago. Her work is focused on creating opportunities and platforms to share and celebrate arts practice in India. After a short stint as researcher/writer for Seagull Theatre Quarterly, she spent a decade as Director of Projects at Prithvi Theatre. In 2012, she co-founded Junoon with the express aim of sharing and building value for the arts, and co-ran the organization for 8 years. Sameera has also been a founder-member of organisations seeking to strengthen the theatre ecosystem – India Theatre Forum and SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre). She was the first Course Director of SMART and continues as core team member and facilitator. Sameera co-edited Our Stage: The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today, and has produced exhibitions, yearbooks, and booklets to build public appreciation of theatre and performance.

Art and Social Change

With the 2020-21 theme, Art and Social Change, the Humanities Center seeks to inspire discussion about the ways that art can help us understand the past, engage with current social concerns, and envision the future. Events will highlight interdisciplinary humanities research and creative activity on the impact of the arts on society, locally and internationally. Focusing on intersectional issues of social justice, including systemic racism, sexism, and economic disparity, we will engage scholars, students, and the community in conversation on how art reflects and provokes social change.