Written & Directed by: Sharanya Ramprakash

Assistant Director : Aswin Varrier

Dramaturg: Sridhar R Prasad

Co-writer: Kruti R Purappemane

Music: Rumi Harish

Songs: Siddhartha & Dadapeer Jyman

Puppets: Rency Philip

Performers: Matangi Prasan, Purushi, Shobhana Kumari, Shrunga BV, Shashank Rajashekar and

Surabhi Vashisht


October 1st 2023.


‘The Nayaki Project’ is an experimental Kannada play that traces the journey of a group of performers who set out on a search for their ancestors. Who were the women performers who built the stage? On whose shoulders does their work stand? In this search, they discover an iconic character called Khanavali Chenni who ruled the stage with her hilarious double-meaning dialogues and sexual innuendo. Fascinated by her stories, they attempt to find the actress who played Chenni.

In the process, they stumble upon several actresses who have their own stories to share. Will this group of performers eventually manage to meet Chenni? How will their search end? What will they discover? Juxtaposing video testimonials, photo-essays and soundscapes from research with song, dance,puppetry and clowning, the play seeks to rewrite Kannada Rangabhoomi’s women performers back into our cultural history…on our own terms. The play is based on a two-year research project (India Foundation for the Arts Research grant), supported by reFrame Genderalities fellowship and is currently being developed at Nirdigantha – an incubation centre for theatre created by Prakash Raj.



Sharanya Ramprakash is a Bengaluru based theatre maker. She places her work in the intersection between gender, tradition and language. She writes, acts, directs and collaborates with a range of forms, communities and theatre makers across local, national and international locations. Her work is research based, collaborative and exploratory. She is an INLAKS scholar and Member of the Lincoln Centre Director’s Lab, New York. She is the recipient of the Shankar Nag Theatre Award and her latest work includes Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award (META) winning play Akshayambara, Nava (Aravani Art Project), Artificial Hells (Taiwan International Festival of Arts) and #MalashreeChallenge (Gender Bender Festival).


Cartoon_Natyam is an initiative by movement artist Veena Basavarajaiah who is reimagining her practice to incorporate socio political views into her art work. The artist uses illustrations to ask questions about various issues of the art world. She uses cartoons to challenge the hierarchies, prejudices, injustices and assumptions that exist and invites people to have conversations about making art-spaces more safe, accessible and inclusive. Her cartoons are designed to be simple, accessible and sometimes layered with humour and irony to communicate the depth of the question and its relationship to the deep power structures. Taking this idea of dialogue between art, practice and audience further, Cartoon Natyam will be curating a series of live performances in collaboration with Courtyard Koota. The series will bring to the audience works of various artists who have been engaging with personal and political questions through their art.