Nandikar's early productions were mainly adaptations of non-Indian plays. Their early presentations include Manjari Amer Manjari (Chekhov's Cherry Orchard), Natyakarer Sandhane Chhati Charitra (Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author), Sher Afgan (Pirandello's Henry IV), Jokhan Eka (Arnold Wesker's Roots), and Tin Poyshar Pala (Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera). The theatre actors from Nandikar also performed Rabindranath Tagore's Char Adhyaya.
In the late 1970s, the founding members Asit Bandopadhyay and Ajitesh Bandopadhyay left the group. Rudraprasad Sengupta succeeded as the main director and a new era started in Indian theatre. Very soon, Nandikar transformed from a pure performance oriented theatre group to an organization with a broad range of projects, including the annual National Theatre Festival. Nandikar is a group that encourages upcoming actors and reverends the senior artists. The group's present actresses and actors are Swatilekha Sengupta, who starred in Satyajit Ray's movie Ghare Baire (The Home and the World) (1984) and Roland Joffe's City of Joy (1992), Goutam Halder, Debshankar Halder and Sohini Sengupta Halder, who acted in Aparna Sen's movie Paromitar Ek Din (2000) and Rudraprasad Sengupta himself. Other than acting in Nandikar productions, Rudraprasad Sengupta has also played in Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha (1993).
Nandikar regularly performs several kinds of shows all over India. However, during the last decade Nandikar has performed in several countries outside India, including Bangladesh, Sweden, Germany, UK and USA. The performances of Nandikar are of high spirit and intellectual base.
Some of the prominent plays by Nandikar are as follows -
Nandikar has come up with several effective projects. In-house workshops were initiated to recruit and train new Nandikar-members. Nandikar also offers annual in-house production-oriented theatre training. Theatre with the Youth was initiated in 1980 and is still into practice, teaching production-oriented techniques both within the group, and vis-a-vis to independent and young theatre troupes. Nandikar started national Theatre Festival in 1984, with the objective to provide a counter balance from the cultural world against disruptive and disintegrating tendencies affecting the sub-continent and created a forum for an interaction of multi-lingual and multi-cultural theatre forms.
In 1989, Theatre-In-Education was started by Nandikar with the primary aim to let the school children know their environment and recognize their world through theatre, to initiate their psychoanalysis of the surroundings, to sharpen the edge between the "I and the World". Over 250 teachers from 80 schools in West Bengal have participated in the short-term workshops at 96 schools and longer-term workshops at 32 schools to bring forth stage performances. Nandikar has also documented their TIE-project, made video modules, and thus published a book on theatre games. Nandikar presented a collection of brilliant plays for children in 2000. One of these projects for the children was "Journey into Theatre", that was into the annual workshop Nandikar organized with the Dramatics Cell, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata.
Nandikar established Secondary Schools in 1989 and is best known for the priceless production-oriented workshops to aspiring theatre actors. TIE-project by Nandikar has similar objectives. Kolkata Rescue was a campaign by Nandikar from 1992 to 1998. This project was for theatre activities for disadvantaged and handicapped children. Another campaign, Nivedita Colony was initiated in 1992 and worked with children of the suburban Nivedita Colony of poor Bangladeshi immigrants. Theatre with Visually Challenged (Blind Opera) took form in 1994 and had their last production with Nandikar participation in 1996. Theatre with Sex Workers, by Nandikar was started during the 1990s and objected at Production-oriented training in co-operation with Komal Gandhar, an organization of sex workers.
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