The Legacy of the Thespian Past: Theatre at the Royal Opera House

Performing Arts
Panel Discussion
Thursday, 25th November 2021
From 6:00pm to 7:30pm (IST)


Mumbai’s cultural landscape has always been the playground where great production houses develop theatre in Marathi, Gujarati, English, Hindi and other languages of this multilingual metropolis. The Royal Opera House, Mumbai, inaugurated in 1916, became the pulsating centre that launched several history-making plays and the careers of their actors. 
Against a backdrop where vintage grace played tug of war with puritanical attitudes, glittering careers – including those of Zohra Sehgal and Prithviraj Kapoor – took flight and became an integral part of the vibrant theatre world in Mumbai and beyond.
Join our panel as they bring to life stories of this iconic stage. They will discuss the significance of theatre to the social fabric of the time; how its history is intricately linked both with the establishment of classy kothas as with the the city’s cultural milieu; and why the submerged histories of places such as The Royal Opera House, Mumbai are relevant to our contemporary experience of theatre. 

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Kunal Kapoor

Producer, Director, Trustee Shri Prithviraj Kapoor Research Foundation, Prithvi Theatre

Kunal Kapoor is a Trustee of one of Mumbai's best-known theatres, Prithvi Theatre. It was a long-standing dream of the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor to build a theatre, which his son Shashi Kapoor fulfilled in 1978. This legacy has been nurtured and carried forward by his son Kunal, his daughter Sanjna and now Kunal's two children. Prithvi Theatre is a catalyst for theatre, and committed to the promotion & development of professional theatre and developing a discerning audience.

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Utkarsh Mazumdar

Actor and Director

Utkarsh Mazumdar A theatre professional, Utkarsh has been on the stage for more than 50 years, performing plays in Hindi, Gujarati and English. He has also directed several plays including Maro Piyu Gayo Rangoon. He has been a program executive in at Doordarshan Kendra, Rajkot and worked at Amdavad and Mumbai Doordarshan Kendra. He has directed several documentaries and training films. Two of his documentaries were screened at International Festival of Documentaries and Short Films organized by Films Division India. Utkarsh has also been a columnist for Gujarati newspapers for the last twenty years.

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Ramu Ramanathan

Playwright, and Director

Ramu Ramanathan is a playwright, poet and journalist. Eight of his plays have been anthologized in the book 3 Sakina Manzil and Other Plays (Orient Blackswan/EFLU). He is also the author of the poetry collection My Encounters With a Peacock and To Sit on a Stone and Other Shorts (both are Red River publications), and co-editor of Babri Masjid, 25 Years On… (Gyan). Ramanathan has been a journalist for three decades, writing on theatre and culture for newspapers and periodicals. He is the editor of PrintWeek and WhatPackaging? magazines.

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Sumedha Raikar Mhatre

Cultural Columnist

Sumedha Raikar Mhatre is a culture columnist in the Mid-Day newspaper. Apart from enjoying a career as a theatre critic for the last three decades, Sumedha is also known for a constant journalistic search for the unsung, subaltern and off stream voices. She celebrates people, trends and indigenous linguistic traditions that do not necessarily feature in the mainstream. She also a media advisor to the US Consulate, Mumbai.

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Royal Opera House, Mumbai
Royal Opera House, Mumbai

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The Legacy of the Thespian Past: Theatre at the Royal Opera House

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