Drama~Sutra Playwriting Project

Drama~Sutra is an initiative of Nautanki Theatre to contribute contemporary and socially relevant plays to Australian stage and literature.

The entire project runs for a years yielding a number of Australian plays about South Asian diaspora. Project is divided in to 4 phases i.e. ground work, play development, reading and producing. At the end of the year aim of the project is to come up with plays that Nautanki company would like to work further with the playwrights to develop the play with an aim to produce, if possible.

For the year one, Nautanki company will be running this playwriting program under the guidance of John Suter Linton to come up with Australian plays about South Asian Diaspora.

Bellow Australian playwrights from South Asian background will contribute to this program.

Dhananjaya Karunaratne: Playwright

Dhananjaya is a published playwright, director and designer working in both Sri Lanka
and Australia as an independent artist. From his early childhood, Dhananjaya showed an Dhana-Headshotinterest in both painting and drama. However, a deeper affinity with the theatre led him to explore this world through his unique theatre practice.

After moving to Australia, Dhananjaya completed his Master of Creative Arts – Theatre at the University of Wollongong in 2004. He is currently undertaking a Master of Creative Arts – Research.

Roanna Gonsalves: Playwright

Roanna came to Australia as an international student from Mumbai, India. She is the author of The Permanent Resident, an acclaimed collection of short fiction published by Roanna-HeadshotUWAP in November 2016. Her four-part series of radio documentaries, On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadcast by Earshot, ABC RN, is an acerbic socio-political portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, and is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings.

Roanna has a PhD from the University of New South Wales, and has been facilitating and teaching creative writing workshops for all ages within communities as well as at schools and in the university sector for many years.

Neel Banerjee: Program Co-ordinator

Neel Banerjee (Full name Bengali: ইন্দ্রনীল ব্যানার্জী) is an acclaimed Indian-Australian thespian, writer, producer and director, has been actively involved within the NeelAustralian-Indian theatre scene for more than a decade. He has formal training in both analytical and physical theatre, Tagore Song, Tabla, Indian folk instruments and Chhau Dance and has performed interstate and overseas. Neel’s theatre ambitions lie in the subject matter engaging abstract pleasure and spirituality. He founded Nautanki Theatre (www.nautanki.org.au) in 2012. Nautanki Theatre is a Western Sydney based independent company committed to provide a platform of cultural exchange between migrants from the South Asian Countries and mainstream Australian audiences. Nautanki Theatre’s productions maintain authenticity by showcasing relevant societal issues highlighting the dynamic and evolving culture that has become a trademark of Australia.

Neel is an engineer by profession, studied Bachelor of Engineering in India and later completed his Post Graduate Degree in Business IT from Sydney University.

John Suter Linton: The Guide
John Suter Linton is an author, scriptwriter, journalist, researcher and producer. He began his writing career in radio, then moved to print media and television, both storylining and scriptwriting for such dramas as Sons’and Daughters’, and Neighbours. In 1985 he was accepted into the first year of NIDA’s Playwrights’ Course which ran in conjunction with the Directors’ Course. Over the years John has written extensively for radio and television, both here and in the UK, and written articles, poems, and short-stories for various publications. More recently, John is a published author of six non-fiction books. Throughout his career, John has developed a good sense of storytelling, knowing how to capture the attention and take an audience on a journey with whatever media the story is told. While he admits to still being a student, learning from every writer he reads or whose work he sees, he does count Harold Pinter and Alex Buzo as his two favorite and influential playwrights.

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