Nayatara Nayar, a playwright, storyteller and researcher based in Chennai is currently completing her PhD. Her work focuses on the intersection of research, creative writing and the study of theatrical texts centering on storytelling about the water and the water crisis in Tamil Nadu. In her research and playwriting, she takes up the call of preeminent writer Amitav Ghosh who suggests that we need to think of how climate change is ‘a crisis of culture and thus of imagination.’ In this session, Nayantara will discuss her research and writing, and conduct a short exercise on using research to spark creative work.

Nayar is completing her doctoral studies at the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. By attaching three contemporary dramaturgies as investigative frameworks for three different water-crisis events, her thesis studies water crisis, and the potential of theatre practices to foster different water-related imaginaries. Prior to her PhD, Nayantara worked as a playwright, researcher, and storyteller in Chennai, India. In 2023, as part of the British Academy project, ‘Reimagining the Good City from Ennore Creek’ and working with Chennai Climate Action Group, local theatre artists, and school children, she designed and delivered a six-week theatre workshop culminating in ‘The Good City Drama’. This play uses dialogic form, song, storytelling, and group discussions to lay bare the exploitative relationship between the Chennai as a good city (modern, global, industrial) and the areas of Ennore Creek, a coastal backwater that, since the 1950s has housed the city’s heavy pollution, ‘red’ industries. She also worked as a facilitator for the Norwich Royal Theatre’s ’37 Plays- Climate Writing’ project to help artists from Norfolk produce work about climate change and the environment.

Sponsored by CIRCA and the UMBC Department of Theatre

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Add to Calendar 20240501 America/New_York Water Logs: A Study of Theatre and Water Crisis