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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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CORE TEAM

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Varoon P. Anand

Artistic Director

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.

(E) varoon@kaivalyaplays.org / varoon.anand@gmail.com

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Gaurav Singh

General Manager

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.  

(E) gaurav@kaivalyaplays.org / gauravnijjer@gmail.com

COLLABORATORS

We work with a wide range of freelance performers, directors, facilitators, consultants and professionals across India and the rest of the world. Whilst you'll find the most up-to-date information about our collaborators on individual project pages, we invite you to read about their journey and experiences in the arts.

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