Hi. We are Kaivalya Plays.
Kaivalya Plays is a performing arts and production company led by Varoon P. Anand as its Artistic Director and Gaurav Singh Nijjer as General Manager. With its root in the cultural capital of India, New Delhi, the group has created innovative artistic experiences with a focus on community-building. Over the course of seven years, they have worked consistently, been very noisy, and built associations with the institutions all across India. The team has worked with many diplomatic institutions like the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes, Embassy of Argentina, Embassy of Ecuador, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhawan in Delhi and Bangalore, among others, to produce cross-cultural theatre productions in English, Hindi, and Spanish which have been staged at festivals like Gender Bender, Old World Theatre Festival, Reconnect Theatre Festival, Short & Sweet Delhi, among others.
The team has also undertaken a slew of community-building initiatives through theatre training workshops, dramatized readings, installations, festivals, and more. Their artistic training is grounded in spontaneous improvisation, lying at the intersection of short-form improvisations (for performances and workshop) and applied improvisation (with a focus on mental health, business, education, training). Their improv group CueLess improv was one of Delhi's first improv teams and became the training ground for a generation of improv performers and heads of new teams. In late 2018, Kaivalya Plays created Unravel, an interactive theatre production produced under the Refunction theatre grant by the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan. The play brings conversations about mental health to the fore, with the ensemble using improv theatre and audience suggestions to devise the final performance on the spot.
Kaivalya Plays also kick-started the Theatre Management Fellowship, a one-of-a-kind training program for strategic management and creative administration of theatre. They have also created Headspace, a national improv for mental wellness project. Over the last year, they have engaged over 2000+ audiences from India, Spain, Colombia, Germany, UK, US and more countries. They have worked with corporates like Atlan, IFFCO, Uber, Dalberg, Floh and more. Their work and associated projects have been featured in India Today, The Hindu, Indian Express, Financial Express among others.
Kaivalya Plays Foundation is a registered Section 8 Company (CIN: U85300DL2021NPL377030) with its registered address at A-41 IFS Apartments, Mayur Vihar Phase 1, New Delhi 110091 India.
TAN DELK22449A | PAN AAICK6158J | GST 07AAICK6158J2Z3
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Varoon P. Anand
Varoon P. Anand is Delhi’s most experienced Improv trainer and performer. Beginning his career under the guidance of Danielle Miles, of Fortetheatre UK, he co-founded Improv8 at Panama’s renowned Theatre Guild of Ancón in 2008.
In Delhi, Varoon began teaching Improv in 2012 through Kaivalya Plays, the theatre company he founded, and in 2014 formed CueLess Improv, the capital’s most prolific team of short-form improv performers. Varoon continued training in improv with many teachers including Saif Ali, of Batlahouse theatre, learning and collaborating from 2015-16.
Along with being the Artistic Director of Kaivalya Plays, CueLess Improv, and El Clavileño (India’s only Spanish language theatre group), Varoon works as a Spanish professor at the Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi.
Varoon received the Refunction Grant (2018) to create Unravel, a production that explores the applications of short-form improv games on mental health, the Gender Bender Grant (2019) to create Aguebao, the IFA Research Grant (2021) to study performer safety in the arts, the Mediafutures grant (2022) to create Mining Hate (under development) that will investigate the online attacks on minorities in India. In 2019, Varoon directed and produced Marta La Piadosa the first and only Indian selection for the world’s largest classical theatre festival, el festival de Almagro in Spain in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi, the Embassy of Spain and Casa de la India. He also authored the play Footage (2022), as part of Indian Ensemble’s First Draft programme, which fictionalizes the details of an infamous sexual assault case of an Indian journalist against her editor-in-chief.
As of 2019, Varoon has trained more than 200 performers in spontaneous improvisation, facilitated workshops for over 500 people in improvisation for mental wellness and collaborated with institutions like the Embassy of Spain, the Embassy of Argentina, the Embassy of Ecuador, the Indian Habitat Centre, Little Theatre Group (LTG), Oddbird Theatre & Foundation amongst others. He continues to explore new ways to present and teach the techniques of improv, along with his other specialities.
Varoon has also been the voice for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Mann ki Baat in Spanish on All India Radio.
Gaurav Singh is a theatre-maker, actor, arts manager and marketer who works across New Delhi and Berlin.
As a theatre-maker, his artistic practice investigates the live performance and audience-performer interactivity using technology and distanced composition. He brings together his training in spontaneous improvisation, his interest in multilingual theatre and his professional experience in marketing, technology and design to explore new ways of engaging audiences, in the theatre, at home and otherwise.
Originally from New Delhi, he is currently based in Berlin, Germany as a German Chancellor Fellow (Bundeskanzler-Stipendium) where he is conducting a 12-month arts research project on audiences for digital theatre and hybrid performances with the Berlin-based Rimini Protokoll as his host organization.
He graduated with MA in Advanced Theatre Practice (Distinction) at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2021, receiving the prestigious Chevening Scholarship from the UK Government. In 2021, he co-directed and designed ‘Lifeline 99 99’, a unique one-on-one interactive performance on the telephone that re-imagined performance formats for the pandemic and received widespread critical acclaim. He served as the technical director for ‘The Flabby Breasted Virgin & Other Sordid Tales’, a playful, irreverent digital performance exploring how women's bodies are taught, perceived and practised within medical education in India. In 2021, he received two grants under the C3: Codes, Creativity and Community program by Goethe-Institut India and BeFantastic to create open-source community platforms for arts funding and arts education. In 2022, he joined the BeFantastic Within AI & Performing Arts Fellowship and subsequently received an artistic research grant towards Climateprov, a hybrid theatre project that brings together generative AI and improvised theatre to kickstart conversations about the climate crisis.
As an actor and director, Gaurav is a performer and founding member of The Living Room Collective and El Clavileno, the latter being India’s only Spanish-language theatre group. He previously worked at one of the oldest and most prominent cultural institutions in Delhi, the Little Theatre Group (LTG) Auditorium as a consultant, overseeing their marketing operations and curating programs for their new black box studio, The Blank Canvas. His acting credits include Yasmine Reza’s Art, Manav Kaul’s Peele Scooter Waala Aadmi, Kristo Sagor’s Threesome Without Simone and Jorge Luis Borges’ Funes The Memorious, among other work in Hindi, English, and Spanish.
We work with a wide range of freelance performers, directors, facilitators, consultants and professionals across India and rest of the world. You'll find the most up-to-date information about our collaborators on individual project pages. Here are some members of our extended team who have contributed to multiple projects.
Amrit is a developer of cultural art that fuses Latin American art forms with Indian traditional craft. Amrit currently works as a set designer with two production houses El Clavileño and Kaivalya Plays. Amrit also facilitates cultural and therapeutic art workshops with students, professionals and institutions.
Chris Sims is one of the founding members of Kaivalya Plays. His house in Defence Colony was the location of all our initial plans. Along with helping to name the company, Chris starred in Creamerica, Kaivalya Plays' award winning first short film. He lives in Nottingham where he is the Head of Global Policy Impact the University of Nottingham and stays active in the theatre community, directing Peter Shaffer's Equus for East Midlands Theatre in 2018.
Meet Karan Singh
Meet Karan is an advertising consultant with a degree in culinary arts, so he always has food for thought. He dabbles in Tarot and astrology along with Ayurveda while also maintaining a poetry page of his own on instagram. He has discovered his love for theatre with Kaivalya and year ago and now revels in the art of improv.
Raghav Seth is a BA Graduate in Theatre Studies, English and Psychology from CHRIST (Deemed to be University). He is trained in Western Theatre and has also developed a skill for voice acting. He also sings, writes poetry, and has recently got into rapping and film-making. He is a firm believer in growing in his fields and becoming better in his craft! He is a Creative Project Manager at Kaivalya Plays, working extensively across their improv offerings.
Actor, Trainee Dramatherapist
Shruti is a theatre artist and a Trainee in Drama and Movement Therapy from London University. She is part of an improv show - 'Unravel' which attempts to start a conversation around mental health. She is currently learning drama therapy by working in schools, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals.
Vanshika is an aspiring actor in love with the gritty world of theatre and a student who is currently pursuing a degree in Hons. English at University of Delhi. She currently works with Kaivalya Plays and El Clavileño - India’s only Spanish theatre group, and has acted in plays like “El cadaver del señor Garcia” and “Marta la piadosa” and and“ Funes el memorioso”. She is also a Creative Project Manager at Kaivalya Plays, working across their Spanish language projects.
Anoop is a theatre practitioner based in New Delhi. He has acted in theatre productions with different theatre groups in Delhi. His interest of work lies in physical theatre and text-based narratives. He is interested in making devised solo theatre piece. His play "ऊपर वाला कमरा" was recently staged in New Delhi, India.
Dravya is a business graduate and part-time actor interested in theatre, improvisation and linguistics pursuits. He currently works with El Clavileño - India's only spanish theatre group where he's acted in productions like "Cadaver Del Señor Garcia" & "Marta La Piadosa", and Kaivalya Plays, where he's acted in productions like "Funes El Memorioso" and "Unravel".
Arts Manager, Actor
Nuhar is a performing arts manager by profession and a lawyer by qualification. She rediscovered her passion for the theatre during law school and took the plunge into full-time theatre & arts management immediately after graduation. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of independent productions, stage management, and more. Nuhar graduated from the inaugural batch of the Theatre Management Fellowship by Kaivalya Plays and joined as Consulting Project Manager from October to early 2021.
Ramita Menon is a freelance yoga teacher, improviser and Spanish language learner from New Delhi, India currently based in Spain. She sees art as an invitation to possibility, a way to be lost and a way to be found. She enjoys creating art essentially about people, their experiences and complexities. Ramita hopes to engage people with art in as many ways as possible creating interdisciplinary and broadly accessible work. She is also a Creative Project Manager at Kaivalya Plays, working across their Spanish language projects.
Designer, Arts Manager
Stuti is a lifestyle product and graphic designer, and is now focusing on a career in design management. She did her graduation in Fashion and Lifestyle Accessory Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai in 2018 and has been working in the design industry since. Stuti graduated from the inaugural batch of the Theatre Management Fellowship by Kaivalya Plays and worked at Kaivalya Plays as Communications Manager from September 2020 to mid-2021.
Vidur Sehgal is an actor and student who is currently pursuing a degree in business economics at University of Delhi. He has been involved in the Delhi theatre circuit for the last 3 years, having worked in various capacities as an actor, sound designer and stage manager for Kaivalya Plays, El Clavileño, QTP Entertainment and Barefoot Theatre.
Arnav Roy is an actor based in New Delhi. He's been working for the last 4 years in the theatre with different forms and groups, investigating all the wonderful possibilities that theatre holds. He was previously a member of the Little Theatre Group's Repertory.
Khushbu is a part-time actor and assistant librarian at Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi. She currently works with El Clavileño - India's only Spanish theatre group and Kaivalya Plays, where she's acted in productions like "Funes El Memorioso" and "Unravel".
Piyush Kumar is a theatre practitioner having 10 years of experience. He has worked in several productions with Barefoot, Crow, Kaivalya Plays's Unravel & CueLess Improv, Tadpole Repertory & Black Box's Woyzeck, where he played the lead character and received critical acclaim. His latest production as an actor was Tadpole’s Rakshas.
Sanjana is a photographer, film-maker and educationist. She has made multiple short films on education and grassroot-level school innovations, primarily with the Government of Delhi. Her photography cuts across genres and has been published on various platforms by CNN, The Hindu, The Indian Express, the UNHCR and the Government of Delhi.
Sumedh was the founding Secretary of Kaivalya Plays and has been very active in the Delhi theatre circuit, with commercial production houses and professional theatre ensembles. Sumedh was also the founding President of Natuve, the Dramatics Society of SBSC (M). He now leads a British fin-tech operation and continues to enjoy theatre and performing arts.
Chiraag is a mechanical and electronics engineer interested in theatre, improvisation and linguistics pursuits. Currently a Spanish language student, Chiraag is a performer in Kaivalya Plays' production 'Unravel', an improv show about mental health. Apart from theatre, Chiraag is also manages residential construction projects and an automobile business.
Manasi is a theatre practitioner and actor, who is also trained in drama therapy. She has been involved in theatre since 2006 and has since worked as an actor and facilitator with various Delhi-based theatre companies, and schools.In her pursuit to take theatre to the masses she continues to conduct independent and collaborative workshops for both children and adults.
Pratham Sarwate is an improviser, musician and overall creative wonderer based in Hyderabad, India. He is a Creative Project Manager at Kaivalya Plays, running the Wednesday Open Space initiative for global audiences. He is also a co-director of Improv News Hour, an online improv show supported by The Nursery Theatre (UK) in late 2020. He is also a member of the improv trouple Imperformers.
Shashank is a freelance content consultant and storyteller. Previously a Teach for India Fellow, he is the creator of the web-comic @cynyassy. He swears by tennis, hydration and improv theatre.
Tariq is an actor, poet and a Spanish language teacher who tries to infuse his love for arts, languages and culture in his various associations with Kaivalya Plays, where he works as Creative Project Manager for their Spanish language projects. He is also a member of El Clavileño - India’s only Spanish theatre group, and has acted in plays like “El cadaver del señor Garcia” and “Marta la piadosa”, "Luz Negra" and and“ Funes el memorioso” that were developed with the support of Kaivalya Plays.