Tejaswi
  Foundation > Founder
 
Founder
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  Yamuna N.S.

The founder member of this trust is Yamuna, who has worked more than forty years in theatre and management. Her experience in these fields gave her certain insights, which prompted her to seek how to apply theatre in attitudinal and behavioural studies and activities. This trust called Tejaswi Foundation was formed with the objective of using theatre for purposes other than just entertainment, but to conduct programmes using “theatre” to address the subject of “stress” and guide people to heal themselves through self exploration.  Yamuna linked Tejaswi to theatre schools in other countries, who engaged in “Drama Therapy” and designed her own simple methodologies, that put actors and others, through processes that helped their self expression.  In this way, she partnered many people in discovering his or her own identity and talents towards success.  

Yamuna says :
"For some time now, I have felt that we, in India,  have lost sight of the importance of theatre.  Most of us take for granted, this ancient and national heritage of ours. This is especially so, since the advent of cinema and television and now the internet. We fail to appreciate that drama is an integral part of every day life and the self-expression of Nature. I discovered with delight, that drama has such a meaningful role in management communication. A true understanding of drama will help us see the vital connection between drama and the universal order. While the sun, the moon and the stars are performing a drama of self-controlled precision, the rest of nature offers changing, varied patterns through colour, movement, the seasons, songs and dances of the birds and animals, and  the sounds of the elements, like the earth, the wind and the rain. People in their daily lives employ drama all the time, when they dress, eat, work, compete and indulge in love play. These are our inner selves and when they are ignored, we move around like robots caught in a mechanical, unnatural whirl of thoughts and deeds.


When we stop to think, we can see that our journey through life does not take a linear pattern - it is connected, interdependent and cyclic. By adopting a pattern imposed by commercial and industrial design, we follow an unnatural course. We are then disconnected from this process of multi connectedness. We become direction-less, sick, unhappy and lonely people. When we employ theatre in the scheme of management, it is the ‘natural’ way --- perhaps the shortest, quickest and kindest way of discovering ourselves".

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MY WORK IN THEATRE


I was one of a group of theatre enthusiasts that came together and formed The Madras Players, which was formally founded in 1955. Perhaps it is the oldest amateur English theatre group in India, that has been in existence without interruption, till the present. The last play I directed for them was Agatha Christie’s “Witness For The Prosecution”, the last performance of which was in April 2010.


Apart from acting, I have worked in all aspects of theatre, both front of house and back stage. I started to direct in 1972. In university, I acted a couple of male roles, since I was in an all-women’s college and because of my height versus other members in the group, it usually exempted me from female roles ! Front of house is where I started in 1955. When I finished my studies and had more time for theatre, I moved to backstage : props, costumes, makeup, sets, sound, lighting, and prompting, which I discovered was one of the most painstaking jobs in theatre! During my years in advertising, I did theatre management, production of publicity material, promotion, ticket sales and marketing.

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PLAYS DIRECTED:

1. HAYAVADANA – Girish Karnad 1973 *
2. LUNCH TIME CONCERT - Olwen Wymark 1973 *
3. ANDROCLES AND THE LION G.Bernard Shaw 1974 *
4. THE KING AND I – Margaret Landon 1974 #
5. ALICE IN WONDERLAND – script by N.S.Yamuna & K.O.Thomas from book by Lewis Carrol 1975 *
6. FREEDOM FOR CLEMENS – Tankred Dorst 1978 *
7. HALFWAY UP THE TREE – Peter Ustinov 1979 *
8. SOUND OF MURDER – Fletcher 1981*
9. TUGHLAG – Girish Karnad 1983 @
10. SHANTI SHANTI IT’S A WAR – Ramu Ramanathan 1993 *
11. ANGRY HOUSEWIVES – Lorna Landvik 1994 +
12. REFLECTION – Elkunchvar 1995 *
13. LARINS SAHIB – Gurucharan Das 1996 *
14. KANYADAAN – Vijay Tendulkar 1997 *
15. 9 JAKHOO HILL – Gurucharan Das 1998 *
16. GRIPS THEATRE – original scripts 1998 & 1999 ^
17. DREAMS OF TIPU SULTAN - Girish Karnad 2000 *
18. TROLLEY RAGE – Jaspar Utley 2001 *
19. A LITTLE DEATH – Jaspar Utley 2002*
20. FOR BETTER FUR WORSE – Collins 2002 *
21. ACROSS CREATION – Anupama Chandrasekar 2003%
22. DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS – G.Bernard Shaw 2004 ^
23. PLATFORM – Shreekumar Varma 2005 *
24. THE FINAL TWIST – Ken Whitmore 2005 *
25. HAYAVADANA – Girish Karnad 2005 *
26. KANCHANA SITA – Sreekantan Nair/Vasanthi Sankaranarayan 2006 ^
27. THE TALKATIVE MAN adaptation of short story by R K Narayanan 2007**
28. GHOST STORIES written by members of Madras Gymkhana Club 2008**
29. KATTIYAKARAN by N.Muthuswami in Tamil adapted in English with the students of WCC 2008+
30. WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION by Agatha Christie * 2010
31. PAYOLI PENDANT by Mohan Narayanan reading for The Book Club 2010
32. ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION readings from shortlisted authors for the British Council 2010
33. HORIZONS by Roger Gimblett of Genesian Theatre, Sydney, March 2011^
34. RENTED CHRISTMAS - A dramatic musical by Norman C. Ahern and Yvonne Ahern - Mellow Circle Group 2011
35. STAY BY MY SIDE - A dramatic musical script adapted by Rajiv Rejendra - Mellow Circle Group 2012

* for The Madras Players
# for The Madras Musical Association
@ for Loyola Theatre Society
+ for Women’s Christian College
^ for Tejaswi Theatre
% for Mellow Circle

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MY ACTING ROLES:

Audrey in AS YOU LIKE IT - Shakespeare
The Soldier! in A PHOENIX TOO FREQUENT – Christopher Fry
Blue Beard! (A college production)
Joan in SAINT JOAN – G B Shaw (As a radio play for All India Radio)
Tituba in THE CRUCIBLE – Arthur Miller
Aunt in EVAM INDRAJIT – Badal Sircar
Mother in SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR – Pirandello
Third Witch in MACBETH - Shakespeare
The Wife in HALFWAY HOUSE – Mohan Rakesh
In BEDROOM FARCE– Alan Ayckborn
In SYLVIA PLATH – Compiled by Anita Khanzadian
In THE BISHOP’S CANDLESTICKS - Norman Mckinnel
*Other supporting roles

I worked back stage at The Madras Players in various departments like Costumes, Props, Sets, Lights and Sound. I started the “Make-up Box” of The Madras Players with the production of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya in 1970

I have worked the following scripts :
Alice In Wonderland (adaptation for the stage from the Book by Lewis Carroll)

 Once Upon a Planet for Grips Theatre (Germany) with the Goethe Institute in Chennai
The Talkative Man (R K Narayan) an adaptation for stage 2007

Conducted programmes using Theatre Methodologies in Corporate Training and Development and training in Education, while with Lintas India Limited, Tata Consultancy Services and Parinam Centre for Self Management 1972-2000
Worked with Fringe Theatre and Children’s Theatre in the U.K.1984-85 and Off-off Broadway Theatre in the USA 1984-1985

Member of the Founding Team of The Madras Players 1955
Director of the Founding production of Loyola Theatre Society 1983 in Chennai
Founder Trustee of Tejaswi Theatre 1994 Chennai

Designed performances of WOW Monologues from writings by women, on women’s issues and concerns – we performed in 15 locations in Chennai 2009 -2010

Resumed my work in Theatre in Education (TIE) from 2005 till the present day