About the Haj

Every year, plays from all over India (and also some other countries) register their performances to showcase at the festival. A screening panel travels around the country to watch these performances, talk to the team and give a constructive feedback. This year the screening panel is traveling to 13 cities, watching over 230 performances! Over the years, Thespo has watched over 1500 plays from over 25 cities, covering more than 20 languages. Our excitement for this year is just really unlimited. 

About the Screening Panel

Alok Rajwade

Alok Rajwade credits his passion for theatre, largely, to three things: His school Aksharnandan (in Pune), and two theatre groups—Mohit Takalkar’s Aasakta and Sandesh Kulkarni’s Samanvay. While his school, with its emphasis on a parallel system of education, initiated him into theatre at an early age, the two Marathi theatre groups inspired him to take it up at a professional level. Having started early, Rajwade has been an actor for the past 12 years, specialising in experimental theatre, and has taken to directing along the way. While in college, Rajwade worked with Aasakta and Samanvay, and his work in Takalkar’s Bed ke Neeche Rehne Wali (The Girl Who Lives Under The Bed) in 2009 convinced him to take up theatre professionally. Rajwade’s first major play was in Abhraham Lincolnche Patra (a Marathi Adaptation of Abraham Lincoln’s Letter) by an organisation named Jagar. In 2008, he starred in the Bhojpuri film, Udedh Bun. In 2009, he was part of the critically acclaimed movie,Vihir. In 2010, he wrote a play titled Geli Ekvis Varsha (which was directed by him as well) which was performed at Italy’s Universo Teatro. In 2017, he was featured on Forbes India’s 30 under 30 list. He directed the play, A Doubtful Gaze at Uber at Midnight, which was staged at Serendipity Arts Festival 2018, in Goa.

Vikram Phukan

Vikram Phukan is a Mumbai-based theatre practitioner and stage commentator. He has written extensively on theatre in publications like The Hindu, Forbes India, Live Mint, Mumbai Theatre Guide and his own website, Stage Impressions. He is a Working Committee member of the Indian branch of the IATC (International Association of Theatre Critics), and a faculty member at the Drama School Mumbai. He has served on several curating and grant-making committees, including the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, the Goethe-Institut’s Gender Bender and Refunction, the Serendipty Arts Festival and Wiener Festwochen (for its India programme). As theatre practitioner, he has written and directed Those Left Behind Things, a play on Iranian asylum seekers. His other writing credits includes contributing to Sunil Shanbag’s Hindustani musical Stories in a Song; Limbo, a rites of passage drama directed by Manish Gandhi; an Indian adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The Price; and collaborating with The Patchworks Ensemble on The Gentlemen’s Club.