Join us as Prof. Kirti Jain, eminent theatre historian and prominent stage play director from India as she discusses one of her most lauded productions, Aur Kitne Tukde (How Many Fragments?), a play about gendered violence during Partition that was inspired by Urvashi Butalia's collection of oral histories in the book The Other Side of Silence. . Aur Kitne Tukde unsettles the master narrative of honour, martyrdom, choice and women's agency on Partition and dramatizes hard hitting stories that narrate the ways in which it radically altered the lives of numerous women through acts of rape, abduction, forcible conversion and martyrdom.
The scale of the tragedy of partition was such that for her and her actors to find a language to articulate the same became a gargantuan task. Prof. Jain will speak about the processes that she employed during the rehearsals for this play and will share some very moving anecdotes vis-à-vis the challenges she faced as its director in devising methods to capture the silence around this huge tragedy as well as in creating a distance between the very personal and emotional selves of the performers and the stories that they were enacting.
The play won tremendous appreciation and was invited for several National Festivals in different parts of the country, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi's Golden Jubilee Festival as well as internationally for the International Theatre Festival in Lahore, Pakistan.
Born in 1949, Kirti Jain, is an MA in English Literature from Delhi University and has a diploma in Theatre (specialization in Direction) from the National School of Drama (NSD). She joined the NSD in 1977 as Assistant Professor in Indian Theatre History and went on to head the institute as its Director for seven years from 1988-1995.
Prof. Jain has documented the performances and work process of several Indian theatre directors, with a focus on women directors, has published articles in theatre anthologies, and is currently associated with the publication of a Hindi Theatre Journal. Her most recent publication is an edited volume titled, Badal Sircar: Search for a language of Theatre which came out in November 2016. She is also a member of the Editorial board of the theatre journal Studies In Theatre and Performance, published by Exeter University. Additionally, Prof. Jain has contributed essays for the Companion to the Indian Theatre and Oxford Encyclopaedia of Theatre and Performance. She also participates in conferences, conducts workshops and gives lectures on theatre, both at the national and international level. She is a Founder Member and member of the Board of Trustees of Natarang Pratishthan - a Theatre Archives and Documentation Centre. In this capacity she has curated several international conferences and festivals including POORVA a festival and conference of Asian Women Theatre Directors.
A recipient of several awards and felicitations, Prof. Jain was honored with the B.V Karanth Smrirti Puraskarfor her contribution to Theatre in 2010 and the Sangeet Natak akademi Award for Direction in 2011.
Prof. Jain's recent directorial work includes:
- Kaun Thagwa Nagaria Lootal Ho on globalization and market economy and based on a seminal Hindi story by Kashinath Singh
- Sab Kuch Chakachak, a play for young people about displacement
- Baghdad Burning, a play that evolved from a blog on US invasion of Iraq
- Hamara Shahar Us Baras about the impact of communal politics and based on Geetanjali Shrees novel of the same name.
Apart from her contributions to theatre, Kirti Jain has also served a short stint with TV as a producer. She is currently engaged in evolving and a methodology of Curriculum Drama for intervention in the school curriculum in India.