Tamasha is a Persian word, meaning “to walk together,” which traveled to Maharashtra and Deccan through the Mughal dynasty. The word then evolved as the name for a popular folk theatre form, which melded dance, poetry, music, comedy and theatre, and drew from Hindu and Muslim culture. In contemporary Hindi, Tamasha means a grand show or performance, a fun-filled play, or simply entertainment. “Tamasha khara karna,” they say – “make some noise.”
Founded in 2016, Tamasha is the only festival dedicated to South Asian artists in North America. Springing from the South Asian International Performing Arts Festival in 2015 (co-chaired by Arpita Mukherjee and Shubhra Prakash) Tamasha began as an annual celebration of the diverse perspectives, ideas, and imaginations of artists from the South Asian subcontinent and diaspora. Entirely funded by the South Asian community, Tamasha seeks to provide opportunities for up-and-coming artists of South Asian origin to connect and collaborate. Over the course of two years, our festival has featured over 200 artists across the disciplines of theatre, dance, music, spoken word, and comedy.
In 2018-2019, Tamasha is reimagining its structure. We will be featuring 9 South Asian female playwrights and presenting their work in readings over the course of the year. We are partnering up with New York institutions to host each presentation. Each month will feature a Tamasha presentation with the generous support of a different theatre company.
Tamasha is proud to present its 2018 playwrights: Sharbari Zohra Ahmed, Aditi Brennan Kapil, Dipika Guha, Deepali Gupta, Rohina Malik, Divya Mangwani, Deepa Purohit, Riti Sachdeva, and Madhuri Shekar. Read more about our playwrights here!
Special thanks to our hosts: LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Public Theater, and WP Theater.