Vijaya Mehta



Born in 1934 in Baroda, Shrimati Vijay Mehta studied theatre with such eminent masters as E. Alkazi and Adi Marzban. Later, she also worked with directors like Peter Brooke and Fritz Bennewitz. An acclaimed director and actor, she has, over the years, also been respected as a teacher and a cultural administrator.
Shrimati Mehta obtained her M.A. in Economics and Politics from the University of Mumbai, and D.Lit. from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thakarse (S.N.D.T.) University, Mumbai. She was awarded a scholarship by the Government of India for the study of direction and acting. Soon after, in 1960, she formed Rangayan, an experimental and progressive theatre group, in Bombay for which she directed and acted in many plays. Shrimati Vijaya Mehta has travelled abroad extensively both as a student of drama and as a director. In 1971 Shrimati Mehta produced, in folk style, Bertolt Brecht’s Good Woman of Setzuan, and later, in collaboration with Fritz Benewitz, the eminent authority on Brecht, she produced the Caucasian Chalk Circle which was presented at Switzerland, and at the Berlin Art Festival.
In 1976, Shrimati Mehta undertook research in the production technique of the classical Sanskrit theatre under the sponsorship of the Government of Maharashtra, and produced Mudrarakshasa in Marathi. She directed the same play in German with German actors at Weimar National Theatre. She later directed Shakuntala and Hayavadan in Hindi, and then in German.
She has been associated with many academic institutions and conducted several short-term theatre training programmes. She has been Cultural Senate Member, Government of Maharashtra; Vice-Chairman, Governing Council, Film and Television Institute, Pune; Member, Central Board of Film Censors; and Chairman, National School of Drama, New Delhi. She was Executive Director of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai from 1993 to 2011.
For her eminence in the field of drama and her contribution to its enrichment, Shrimati Vijaya Mehta received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Direction.
Shrimati Vijaya Mehta is elected Tagore Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for her contribution to Indian theatre.