Prasanna Ramaswamy



Born on 21 November 1952 in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu , Shrimati Prasanna Ramaswamy is a compelling voice in the contemporary theatre. Based in Chennai and working mainly in Tamil, she is yet universal in her sympathies, and transcends the borders of nation and culture to speak of the unsettling social realities of our time. Grappling with these issues, she has fashioned a theatre that transcends also the boundaries of conventional drama, drawing to it element s from diverse sources in our performance tradition.
Inequity and resultant deprivation are at the heart of Shrimati Prasanna Ramaswamy's work. These themes are examined especially in scenarios that reflect gender, displacement, and livelihood concerns. Working on gender issues, Shrimati Ramaswamy crafted the Urdu play Zikr-e Nashunida produced for the feminist theatre Tehrik-e-Niswan in Karachi. She has dealt with migration and its aftermath in her play The Return, in French/English, produced in Paris with a cast of second-generation Sri Lankan refugees. Her plays Pirappakkum and Vanam Vasappadum, against war and honour killing, were staged with two hundred folk artists - actors, singers, and dancers. Some of her other plays are Ahamum Puramu, , Meendum……Meendum…. (!), Thiraikadalodi (Aham), All too Real Minus Tomorrow’s Children, Jewish Wife, Pennoli, Karna, Oliyudal+Olimozhi+Olippookkal, Surthi, Smrithi, Kriti and Nadhiyin Karunai. These are concerned with a host of issues that beset our time. Her productions interlink disparate textual sources such as classic poetry and newspaper reports, and employ music and dance to telling effect.
Shrimati Ramaswamy has worked as cultural director at Max Mueller Bhavan , Chennai. In that capacity, she has made available performance opportunities to many young artists. She has also screened new films for cineastes in Chennai, and set up a forum for dialogue between Tamil writers and their readers. Shrimati Ramaswamy has received the Ladli Award (2007) from UNFPA for her work promoting gender sensitivity. She has also received the Kalaimamani (2011) from the Tamil Nadu Eyal lsai Nataka Manram.
Shrimati Prasanna Ramaswamy receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Indian theatre as a director.