Workshop by Lois Weaver


November 2012

‘Where do you come from?’ – I am rolling this question around in my mind, trying to remember where I come from. From Kolkata? From India? From Bangladesh? From homelessness? From an undefined state of nostalgia? As Lois Weaver introduced several questions for us to think about when we all sat around a circle, I realized we were going somewhere from ‘here’ – the present moment. Within the next few days, about fifteen of us were grouping and regrouping together, playing games, brainstorming ideas, creating rituals and performance pieces, independently and collectively. ‘What do you really care for?’ was another of her questions. ‘No, no, what do you really care for?, no, no, no, what do you absolutely really really care for and you think is the most important thing to you?’

We were to ‘occupy’ the Nitery. Not that some of us did not have trouble reconciling with the violence implied in the word ‘occupy’, but we were ready with our different tools to change the world – flashmobs, and story-telling, intimate dialogues, tightrope walking, performance, activism and skits – we ‘occupied’ the space and time with what we had to say, show, perform and resist. And despite diverse personalities, different methods and varied causes, our little space in the Nitery transformed into a space to nurture ‘what we absolutely really really care for’.



Sukanya Thumbnail I received my doctoral degree in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford in June 2016. My dissertation, completed under the guidance of Dr. Jisha Menon, was awarded the Charles R. Lyons Memorial Prize for Outstanding Dissertation. My research project was supported by the Graduate Research Opportunities Award in Stanford, which facilitated my fieldwork in India and Bangladesh during the summer of 2013 and 2014; and the Wisch Fellowship by the Center for South Asia, Stanford University, for my work in South Asian theater and performance studies. I identify as an artist-scholar, and my training and specialization are in the area of oral history; postcolonial and ethnic studies (with a focus on South Asian performance studies); ethnomusicology; dramatic literature; transcultural theater and performance; experimental devised performances; and community-based performance-making.


It would be wonderful to hear back from you, and you can always reach me via email.

Sukanya C.