Arvind Gaur

Arvind Gaur
Born (1963-02-02) 2 February 1963
Delhi, India
Occupation Theatre Director
Awards Karmaveer Puraskaar Artistes 4 Change; Colour of Nation Award, 2005

Arvind Gaur ( अरविन्द गौर), Indian theatre director, is known for his work in innovative, socially and politically relevant theatre in India.[1][2] Gaur's plays are contemporary and thought-provoking, connecting intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political issues.[3][4] His work deals with Internet censorship, communalism, caste issues, feudalism, domestic violence, crimes of state, politics of power, violence, injustice, social discrimination, marginalisation, and racism. Arvind is the leader of Asmita, Delhi's "most prolific theatre group",[5] and is an actor trainer, social activist, street theatre worker and story teller.[6]

Gaur was the recipient of a research fellowship awarded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (India) (1997–98). He was on the guest faculty of Delhi University for Theatre in education program for three years. He has conducted many theatre workshops and performed in colleges, institutions, universities and schools in India and abroad.[7]

He has organized theatre workshops for children[8] in schools and slums as well as street theatre performances on socio-political issues.[9][10][11] He has directed more than 60 stage plays over two decades.[12][13]

Personal life

He was born on 2 February 1963 in Delhi. Arvind’s father Shri Shiva Nandan Sharma (died on 16.04.09) was a Maths scholar and his mother Saraswati Devi is a housewife. He has one brother, Anil Gaur, and three sisters: Shashi Prabha, late Mithlesh and Dr. Anita Gaur. His wife Dr. Sangeeta Gaur is a very talented vocalist, composer and music director. He has twin daughters Kakoli and Saveree.

Theatre career

After completing his schooling from Model School, Vivek Vihar in Delhi, he decided to study engineering in Electronic Communication. Later, he joined the Delhi Public Library drama group.[12][14] In DPL He acted in and directed plays. Then he worked with slum kids and industrial labourers for some time and conducted workshops for them. His first street play was with Zakir Hussein College, called Videshi Aya. It became very popular and he staged it around 200 schools. After this, his desire to express led him to journalism. He worked with the Navbharat Times newspaper as culture columnist for about four years.[12]

Watching plays, reading about them and writing about them is how his training in theatre started. He then shifted to Press Trust of India (PTI-TV). He was associated with TV serial Tana-Bana. He was in charge of the research and programming there. All through his years with street theatre, print and television, Gaur had developed keen interest in direction. Finally, after devoting two years to PTI-TV, he felt the urge to switch to theatre completely.[15]

Theatre journey

Arvind's debut play was Bhisham Sahni's Hanoosh (February, 1993). He started his theatre journey with classics like Tughlaq, Andha Yug, Caligula, Julius Caesar, etc.

He performed Girish Karnad's Tughlaq in a small basement theatre (SRC). It was a huge success. His Tughlaq was selected as "the best play of the year 1994" by Sahitya Kala Parishad. He achieved greater heights during a decade in theatre. He trained actors in his own style. He trained them as a complete theatre person. Arvind Gaur also collaborated with theatre artists and groups specially in exploring a new language for solo performances.[16]

Major directions

Solo play direction

Street plays

Gaur directed more than 40 street theatre performances on socio-political issues. He has always raised voice against any socio-political issue that effects the common public. He directed street plays like Corruption, Garbage, Road Rage, and Dastak which is against the issue of eve teasing. His street plays are always thought-provoking and leave a huge mark on the mindset. He and his team performs socio-political street plays all across Delhi/NCR and the country. He is regarded as a man with a message who believes that change can start from society, if we wish to start the change.[55][56]


Work for visual media

  1. Acted in Bollywood film JD 2016, directed and produced by Shailendra Pandey
  2. Acted in short film "Meri Jeevan ki Abhilasha" directed by Kriti Takkar which won second best fiction film in "Mise-en-Scene", the international student’s film festival, 2010.
  3. Assistant director, docu-film "In search of an ideology", director Prasanna for Doordarshan, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India.
  4. Worked with Press Trust of India (PTI-TV).
  5. Acted in tele-film Dhabba directed by Green Oscar awardee Mike Pandey, produced by Nafisa Ali.
  6. Assistant director, docu-film Gokak (V. K. Gokak), director Prasanna for Sahitya Akademi, Delhi.
  7. Research and scripting for TV serial Taana-Bana (1991–1992), produced by Press Trust of India.

Translation and Scripting



He scripted plays like Untitled, search of light, I will not Cry, Bitter Chocolate (based on Pinki Virani's book), Madhavi solo play (based on Bhisham Sahni's play) and many street plays for Asmita Theatre.

Major actors

Major cinema and theatre actors who trained under Arvind Gaur are Kangana Ranaut, Deepak Dobriyal, Manu Rishi, Shilpa Shukla, Rashi Bunny, Aishveryaa Nidhi, Shilpi Marwaha, Tillotama Shome, Imran Zahid, Sheena Chohan, Seema Azmi etc. Sonam Kapoor attended Gaur's acting workshop to learn the nuances of street theatre for her film Raanjhanaa.[57]

Other prominent theatre actors who worked with him are Mallika Sarabhai, Piyush Mishra, Lushin Dubey, Bubbles Sabharwal, Ruth Sheard, Jaimini Kumar, etc.[58]


Arvind Gaur designs lights for Naya Theatre group's major productions under the direction of Padma Shri Habib Tanvir. Gaur also assisted Shri Habib Tanvir during the Prithvi Theatre Festival. He designs lights for Agra Bazar (Nazir Akbarabadi's poetry), Charandas Chor (his masterpiece play, Edinburgh Fringe Award), Asghar Wajahat’s Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya, Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna (Habib Tanvir's adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream), Canadian-Indian playwright Rahul Varma's Zahreeli Hawa and Gaon ke naon Sasural, mor naon Damand.

Related article

'Shamim Azad.'

Further reading

  1. "Arvind Gaur-A Decade in Theatre" by J.N. Kaushal (ex-Acting Chief, National School of Drama, Repertory Company), published by ITI (International Theatre Institute), UNESCO, Indian Chapter
  2. "Raising the curtain on theatre": Director Arvind Gaur reflects on why India needs a cultural policy by Seema Sindhu (Life Fires, September, 2007)
  3. His Voice-"Ace Act", essay by Shekhar Chandran (New Women, Jan. 2008)
  4. "The World of Theatre" by Ian Herbert, Nicole Leclercq (P-126) published by International Theatre Institute


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  4. "Brechtfast in Ballimaran". Time Out Delhi. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
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External links

  1. The good man of Delhi stage by Archana (2008-09-26) Mail-Today.
  2. Founder of Asmita Group, by Rohit Malik, Delhi Events (2008.12.30)
  3. Gandhari, solo-act by Aishveryaa Nidhi
  4. "All The World’s A Platform" by Shailaja Tripathi. Expressindia ,( 2003.09.17)
  5. "Heal the wounds" by Rohini Ramakrishan,(2004/12/11), The Hindu
  6. Dramatics Society of Lady Shri Ram College
  7. "A plethora of problems afflicts Hindi theatre" Rana A Siddiqui, The Tribune.(2001.12.28)
  8. "Mahesh Dattani's Final Solutions"Oneness Peace Festival,Hindu College,University of Delhi(2005.09.16)
  9. "Play of rules-Arvind Gaur's street theatre-Hatke Bachke"Nandini Nair,The Hindu (2009.01.12)
  10. "Nobody’s Child-Bitter Chocolate" Express Features Service,The Indian Express (2004.01.08)
  11. "The Park’s The Other Festival"Onassis Awardee Manjula Padmanabhan's "Hidden fires"-The Museum Theatre,Chennai(2005.12.07)
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