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Sam R. Kerawalla: 60 years in Theatre & Allied Arts

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sam started off as a graduate in Electrical and Radio Engineering from the St. Xavier’s College Technical Institution. He later did a 2 year Diploma Course in Theatre at the Indian Academy of Dramatic Arts affiliated to International Theatre Institute and Natya Sangh, Delhi. Due to his interest in Puppetry, he secured a Diploma in it and later did his Teacher’s Training in Puppetry too. He learned all about plays and theatre having worked with the doyen of Parsi Theatre – the late Adi Marzban whom he considers as his ‘Guru’. He worked with him as his Stage Manager and mastered the art. He has been directing playwright Adi Marzban’s plays at the N.C.P.A. for the Adi Marzban Endowment Fund for the last 17 years. He has directed and designed nearly 300 plays and musicals having excelled in Interior Design from J.J. School of Arts. He has also lectured on Theatre Arts at Natya Sangh, University of Bombay Annual Drama Course. He has also worked as a Theatre Manager for 36 years at the Patkar Hall and as an Artistic Director for S.N.D.T. Women’s University. He has also formulated a course in Set Design for Theatre, Television and Films for J.J. School of Arts. Because of his love for Mime (acting using only gestures and action), he studied the ame under Marcel Marceau, Theo Lesulaji & Niel Yalter. Designing and Lighting for stage has become his forte. He has designed Lighting for Marcel Marceau’s shows, Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, Padmashree Astad Daboo, Bharatya Vidya Bhavan Dance Ballets, Paul Taylor Dance Co., U.S.A., All India Tour Bolshoi Ballet Co., U.S.S.R., and Rudolph Marsevey, the French Ballet Co. He was invited to do Lighting at Concour de Baniolet, Paris and American International Dance Festival at Duke’s University, U.S.A. The United States Information Services gave him a scholarship to study Lighting and do a study tour of Theatres in U.S.A. He has done Special Lights & Effects for films like ‘Qurbani’, ‘Haadsa’ and ‘Jog Sanjog’. As a Director, he was selected in 1970 by Natya Sangh, Delhi, to attend the Directors’ World Theatre Conference at Germany followed by an invitation by the German Govt. to visit all the Theatres in Germany and also by the British Counsel to come and study different theatres and theatre movements in U.K. He has directed many successful plays – “Run For Your Wife”, “One Day in Ashadh”, “The Deal”, “Successful Life of Three” and “It Runs in the Family”. He is the winner of The Best Director Award for several years bestowed by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and “Thespo’s” Life Time Achievement Award in Theatre, besides winning many Trophies. The Bolshoi Ballet Co. invited him to see Theatre work in Russia. He has also made forays into the making of Short Films and Fashion Shows. The latest being “The Inheritance of Light” on the works of the renowned painter of our Community – Late Jehangir Sabavala. For Fashion Shows, he has the record of doing 60 shows in 45 days for the Govt. of India, promoting Indian Textiles in Moscow. A multi-talented and a much revered figure in the Theatre World, Sam has been awarded “The Life Time Achievement Award” for his great contribution in the field of Direction, Lighting, Design, Stage Management, Training Models, Choreography, make-up and much more. The community is proud of his rich contribution in the world of Theatre and looks forward to seeing many plays in the future.

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