(BA, Theatre Direction, Wesleyan University, USA | MFA Theatre Directing, Birkbeck, University of London)
Jehan Manekshaw is the Founder Director of Theatre Professionals.
Jehan has taught as guest faculty at Ninsasam Theatre Institute, Attakallari Centre for Movement Arts, and St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. He is also a co-convener on the faculty panel of The Drama School, Mumbai.
As a Core Team member of the Young People’s Theatre Programme, Jehan’s efforts are towards devising end-to-end solutions for educational institutions who want an autonomous Drama department. He often supervises internal teacher training for YPTP’s facilitators, and occasionally steps in to the classroom as a substitute instructor. Jehan also regularly designs different formats for Annual Day engagements for schools seeking alternatives to the traditional Annual Day.
When not working as the Director of Theatre Professionals, Jehan directs plays across languages and cultures; his credits include directing Shakespeare’s Othello in Kannada at the Ninasam Theatre Institute in Karnataka, and Eklavya in Japanese at the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, in Japan.
(St. Xaviers College)
Tasneem is a graduate in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She has over ten years’ experience teaching children at the Trinity College Programme for Speech and Drama, and as a director of children’s plays. She has also conducted several Drama workshops for children and teachers, directed Annual Days at schools, and worked with regional language schools using Drama to teach children spoken English.
Tasneem started working with the company initially administering the professional Acting Workshop Programme, and later responsible for overseeing the entire Drama in Schools Programme. When she’s not busy seeing that every school’s academic and teaching needs are being met, Tasneem finds time to step in to the classroom and stay connected with what she loves best: teaching children.
(In-house Training, Development and Knowledge Resource Development)
As Theatre Professionals’ senior-most trainer, Shaizia is a constant source of information, inspiration, knowledge and experience for the rest of the team. Everything Shaizia does embodies her love for children. She has taught Drama for 6 years, acquiring hands-on experience as a Drama Trainer and Therapist, at Trio World School in Bangalore, Bombay International School, Aditya Birla World Academy, and Sadhna School for Down’s syndrome children. She has also taught at the South Indian Education Society, Panbai International School and JBCN International School, Parel. She currently teaches at NSS Hillspring Academy and an after school centre: Aum Yash Kendre.Shaizia has trained under senior Theatre of the Oppressed instructor Marc Weinblat, completed training in German Methods of Theatre Pedagogy, attended a series of Actor Studio Workshops with Roo Jhala, done a puppet making and manipulation workshop with Anrupa Roy, and participated in a number of Theatre Professionals Acting Workshops, including the Intensive Drama Programme.
Shaizia also works as a puppeteer and runs puppetry workshops outside of school. While she teaches during the day, Shaizia also works on illustrations and graphic design, and is currently pursuing a degree in Illustration and Design via correspondence from the UK.
BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance University of Leeds
Srividya has more than a decade’s experience in theatre. Her main focus is Theatre for Development and Theatre in Education, with a strong impetus on research in these areas. She has also completed Level 1 Art & Drama Therapy under Dr Nira Kaplansky. in 2012, Srividya presented a paper, titled “Theatre Pedagogy in India: A Paradigm Shift” as part of the 8th annual ISTR Conference in Pune.
Srividya started with training students for the Trinity Guildhall Drama Graded Exams at the Indus International School, Bangalore. Later she set up the Theatre Department and taught IGCSE and IBDP theatre at Greenwood High, Bangalore. She has also done short inter-disciplinary collaborative projects with the English Department at Inventure Academy. Currently, Srividya is certified by the IB to teach theatre at the IBDP and MYP levels. She has also been accredited by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) to assess IGCSE Drama Coursework.
Srividya firmly believes that holistic education is possible only when the Arts are an integral part of school curriculum. Currently, Sri teaches IB MYP Theatre for YPTP at Oakridge International School and privately trains students for the Trinity Guildhall Drama graded exams.
Mehneer Sudan is a dance artiste working in the field of Contemporary and Jazz Dance for the past 14 years. Involved in contemporary developments in dance with emerging artistes, she is the co-founder of Dance Dialogues in Bombay, an initiative to build an engaging and supportive dance community in the city; and a founder member of The Gati Dance Forum, Delhi.
In her contemporary work, she draws inspiration from dance-theatre, performance art, and improvisation. Her primary interest lies in developing a personal movement vocabulary that defies classification.
She is also deeply interested in Dance in Education and in choreographing Annual/Graduation day productions. She hopes to develop a syllabus to help children understand where movement originates in the body, responding to stimuli including music, text, objects, and how to perform basic skills to express and communicate ideas, outside of any particular form.
Gerish has an M.A (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Mumbai and has been determinedly pursuing theatre since 2006. He embarked on this magical expedition with Working Title’s ‘Once Upon A Tiger’ and has acted in a number of other productions such as Arabian Nights, Look Back in Anger, Tukra’s Dream, Three Short Plays by Ranjit Hoskote and Kachra Tales. Gerish has directed children’s productions such as Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie, Charandas Chor by Habib Tanvir, The Wizard of Oz, and Sammy: The Word That Broke An Empire by Partap Sharma for Shishuvan High School, which has been the training ground for his pedagogic foundation and a quasi-laboratory for his artistic experiments.
He forayed into professional direction with a short play entitled, ‘The Unveiling’, which had its brief run of shows in an alternative space in Mumbai in 2012-13. In the coming years, he hopes to intensify his directorial ventures by sharing the stories he passionately believes in. Currently, he teaches Theatre Arts to IB students at a school under Theatre Professionals. Simultaneously, Gerish is slowly beginning to deploy theatre for therapeutic, self-growth, team-building, and pedagogic purposes in diverse spaces, gradually exploring the varied possibilities under the ambit of Applied Theatre.
Gurleen Judge teaches drama at an after-school centre as part of TPPL’s Young People’s Theatre Programme. She has been working in theatre for 4 years now, as a stagehand and light technician, having begun working with kids in the form of short drama workshops in 2012. She is extremely interested in working towards using drama and related arts to enable different ways of learning among children. She hopes to contribute to a system of education that promotes and enriches the individuality of the child while sensitizing them to the world we inhabit.
Gurleen also works for Theatre Pofessionals as a programme assistant where she helps market and organize the company’s theatre training workshops and other activities.
Dance and drama are Komal’s passions. She pursued a degree in Bharatnatyam, having completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s in it under the guidance of Guru. Padmashri Dr. Sucheta Chapekar. After this, she trained in other dance forms such as Contemporary, Ballet, and Movement Art from Attakalari in Bangalore.
She has performed at festivals such as the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai, Infinity and Beyond in Goa, Ekamra Orissa, as well as the National School of Drama’s Bharat Ranga Mahostav, and the Theatre Festival in Iran. She has been teaching dance in schools for 6 years with a number of schools and NGOs, and is currently a drama instructor with theatre Professionals.
Neeraj Shirvaikar is an actor, designer, and director. Through his Masters in Theatre Arts from the University of Mumbai in 2010, he has acted and been a part of the direction team in various plays.
As a professional, he has assisted directors such as Ms Sai Paranjpye, Mr Vijay Kenkre, and Mr Etienne Coutinho. As part of Theatre Professionals, he has directed the Annual Day for Podar International School in Nanded, and the Theatre Carnival for JBCN Borivali. He has also facilitated several children’s theatre workshops and directed the experimental production, “Danton’s Death” with the theatre group, Awishkar.
He currently teaches the IB Theare Arts course at NSS Hillspring International School.
Ritu Jalan is a B.Com graduate and University topper for her course in DECCE. She has grown to find that she loves to see children light up through stories and exercises in drama. She believes that drama has helped her find her strengths, and wishes the same for her students. She has been taking regular classes in Drama and Creative Communication for children for the past 5 years while also facilitating summer workshops and working on Annual Days. She has attended all three Using Drama for Learning Workshops conducted by Theatre Professionals in order to deepen her knowledge and further hone her skills.
After graduating with a degree in Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi, Anannya is currently pursuing a Masters in Psycho-Social Clinical Work from Ambedkar University, Delhi. Throughout college, she has been an active member of the Dramatics and Classical Dance Society. She is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and pursues acting as a profession with groups and directors in Delhi, having also acted in the National award winning movie Dharma.
As a team member of the organisation ‘Life Set’, Anannya organizes life-skills workshops for children of all age groups through an educational package conceived and designed by a team of counsellors and theatre practitioners. It draws upon the most credible research globally- DAIRRC – which is in special consultative status to the UN, wherein she imparts life-skills education through the medium of theatre.
Neel Sengupta is a Theatre practitioner based in Delhi. An Alumnus of The Players, Kirori Mal College, he has directed and acted in several award winning plays and has been actively involved with Theatre for over 4 years. He is the recipient of the Sultan Padamsee Thespo award 2012 for Excellence in Direction for his play ‘Line’.He is currently working with the Tadpole Repertory Delhi,Toss a Coin Productions, New Delhi and Indian Ensemble, Bangalore.
With over 9 years’ experience in theatre, Srividya has a BA (Hons.) in Theatre and Performance from the University of Leeds, UK. Her focus is on theatre for development and in theatre-education, with a strong impetus on research in these areas. Realising the immense healing potential of theatre, Srividya completed level 1 Art and Drama Therapy by Dr. Nira Kaplansky and tries to use these methods in her work.With the firm belief that a holistic education is possible only when the Arts are an integral part of the school curriculum, Srividya started training students for the Trinity Guildhall Drama graded exams in Indus International School, Bangalore, and later set up the Theatre department in Greenwood High, Bangalore, where she now teaches IGCSE and IBDP theatre.
She has also done short inter-disciplinary collaborative projects with the English department in Inventure Academy. Srividya is a trained IB theatre teacher from the International School’s Theatre Association (ISTA) in 2010 and she is also accredited by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) to assess IGCSE Drama coursework (2012). Srividya presented her paper, titled “Theatre Pedagody in India: A Paradigm Shift” as part of the 8th annual ISTR conference (2012) in Pune.
When Srividya is not busy teaching, she enjoys observing the world around her, reading, networking and meeting new people.