Sankar Venkateswaran


Sankar Venkateswaran is an Indian theatre director. Born in Calicut, Kerala, Venkateswaran studied directing at the School of Drama and Fine Arts, University of Calicut, after which he trained at the Theatre Training and Research Programme (currently Intercultural Theatre Institute) in Singapore. In 2007, he founded Theatre Roots & Wings, and directed Richard Murphet’s “Quick Death” (2007), “Sahyande Makan- The Elephant Project” (2008), Ohta Shogo’s “Water Station” (2011), “101 Lullabies” (2012), and Henrik Ibsen’s “When We Dead Awaken” (2012). In 2013 he received the Ibsen Scholarship from Teater Ibsen, Norway, for ‘Tribal Ibsen Project’ which furthered his work with the indigenous people in Attappadi, Kerala. He built a theatre in the region, named Sahyande Theatre, and lives and works among the communities. His following works, “Theriyama Nadanda Nera” (2016), “Udal Uravu” (2017), “Criminal Tribes Act” (2017) and “Indian Rope Trick” (2020) reflect the shift in Venkateswaran’s working context. His works have been shown at various venues and festivals including Zurich Theater Spektakel, Spielart Munich, Kyoto Experiment, Zoukak Sidewalks in Beirut, and Theater Commons Tokyo.

Alongside his work with the company, Venkateswaran has directed a number of works outside, such as Anton Chekhov’s “Seagull” (2011), Maurice Maeterlinck’s “Interior” (2020) for Ninasam, Heggodu, Bhasa’s “Urubhangam” (2011) for Shinshu University, Japan, “Tage der Dunkelheit” (2016), “INDIKA” (2017) for Munich Volkstheater, Germany and “When We Dead Awaken” (2018) for Intercultural Theatre Institute, Singapore.

Venkateswaran served as the artistic director for the International Theatre Festival of Kerala in 2015 and 2016. During his term, the programme emphasized South-South exchanges to resist the Eurocentric agendas of cultural practice.