Due to theatre taking a backseat with Bollywood craze at an all time high, not many know about the various legendary artists that have changed the landscape of Indian arts and culture.
One such great theatre personality that we are talking about today is Sunil Shanbag. This Mumbai-born man is a renowned theatre director, screenwriter and documentary film-maker. You will be surprised to know that he did not receive any formal theatre training having dabbled in acting and screen-writing before finding his true passion – Theatre.
In his early days, the director started working extensively with and is considered as a protégé of the theator guru Satyadev Dubey by himself. He also founded a theatre company called Arpana in the year 1985.
With a career spanning over 40 years, the 63-year old was a part of many plays that were critically acclaimed and well-loved. Some of his outstanding directorial work includes Cotton 56, Polyester 84, S*x M*rality & Cens*rship, Dreams of Taleem, Stories in a Song and so on. Based on the Mumbai mills culture, Cotton 56, Polyester 84 was awarded with three META awards at the Mahindra Theatre Festival in 2007.
Sunil Shanbag was also known for his innovative use of music in his plays. One of his musical plays Stories in a Song that opened in 2010 was well-conceived by audience and critics alike.
He was also invited to the Globe to Globe festival in London to showcase the Gujarati adaptation of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well which again received positive appreciation.
Sunil Shanbag continues to be a prominent figure in the Indian theatre circuit for his immense contribution to the art.