Balakrishnan Venkataraman – Founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Nisha

On the 5th episode of Season 2, “The Resilient Enterpreneurs” on Indian Artpreneur Podcast, we speak to Balakrishnan Venkataraman, The Founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Nisha(Chennai) that has staged over 120 plays in the past 20 years under its banner in over 15 international, national and regional theatre festivals. Balakrishnan V is an alumnus of Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts (New Delhi) and the National School of Drama (New Delhi).

He was awarded the Charles Wallace Scholarship to attend an International Residency for Young Directors with the Royal Court Theatre, London. In his career as a theatre artist, he has directed over 200 plays, acted in over 150 plays and written over 10 scripts. He has worked with several international dancers and theatre professionals on collaborative projects, including Performance Group Tuida, from South Korea.

He has to his credit several workshops on different aspects of theatre, which have benefitted artists, teachers, dancers, students, and members of marginalised communities.

In 2015, he was invited to be a TEDx speaker at the Bangalore convention, where he spoke on ‘How to Build a Character?’ In 2017, he was awarded the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching (FDAT) and returned having completed a 4-month inquiry-based project from Indiana University. In 2018, the Rotary Club of Madras East conferred the Dronacharya Award on him for his contributions to theatre education. In 2019, he won the Hindu Playwright Award for his play Sordid which premiered at Natarani Amphitheatre in March 2020.