(Last Updated on : 14-08-2014)
Mohan Singh Maharishi was a Hindi director. He was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan in 1940. He started his career in 1955 as a radio performer with Akashvani, Jaipur. He soon became one of the foremost actors in Jaipur, receiving awards at youth festivals. Enrolling at the National School of Drama
in 1962, he graduated in 1965 with many laurels and joined its repertory company. During this period, he directed Sarvadananda Varmas Bhumija i.e. 'Earth's Daughter' in 1963 in Jaipur and Adya Rangacharya's Suno Janamejay i.e. 'Listen Janamejay' in 1965, from Kelu Janamejay for the NSD Repertory. Both productions left a mark for their experimental treatment. He translated Strindberg's The Father in 1964 and acted in Shakespeare's King Lear in 1964, Kanjus or Moliere's The Miser in 1965, Beckett's Waiting for Godot in 1967, and Anouilh's Antigone in 1967, all directed by Ebrahim Alkazi
A founder member of the important Hindi theatre
group Dishantar in 1967, he left soon after its inaugural production of Badal Sircar's Evam Indrajit, which received notice at the national level but got caught up in controversy because he changed the ending. He started Sanket in Jaipur and its debut, Gyandev Agnihotri's Shuturmurg i.e. 'Ostrich' in 1968 also raised protests. Its performance stopped in Delhi due to its political slant. Maharishi showed a new path to Hindi theatre in Jaipur with his productions of Azar ka khwab ie. 'Azar's Dream' in 1969, which was based on Shaw's Pygmalion. Some other can be mentioned as Gudiya ghar i.e. Ibsen's Doll's House in 1969, Ma i.e. Gorky's Mother dramatized by Brecht in 1970, and Duerrenmatt's The Visit in 1970. He joined the national television network, Doordarshan, in Delhi as producer in 1971. After that he went to Mauritius in 1973 for six years as cultural advisor to the Mauritius government. He initiated a youth theatre movement there in Indian languages and produced Dharamvir Bharati's Andha yug in 1975 with Hindi-speaking people. He also visited Europe and was exposed to Brechtian theatre at the Berliner Ensemble.
Returning to India in 1979, he joined the drama Department of Punjab University, Chandigarh, as a professor in 1980. His production of Harcharan Singh's Rani Jindan in Punjabi (1981) traveled abroad. He joined NSD as Director in 1984 but left in 1986 for controversial reasons and went back to Punjab University, where he continued to direct acclaimed productions. In the 1990s, he earned recognition as a poet and a playwright, guest-directing for NSD Repertory his own plays Einstein in 1997 and Raja ki rasoi i.e. 'The King's Kitchen' in 1998. He used various Indian and foreign techniques in his work, not sticking to any one school, stating that 'I have not followed any particular form, rather there is continuity of experiment in most of my productions.'