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About Us

As a performing artist, there are several questions one faces today. Some of the primary questions are:

How do we reach out?
How do we survive?
How do we connect?

And there is no concrete answer to either of these questions. One keeps on struggling to find answers to these questions. At the same time, one also needs to keep creating artistic work. An artist likes to be anchored in a community of like-minded people. But how does one find those like-minded people?

IAPAR is a network that will try to answer some of these questions and try to fill in for the existing lacuna.

IAPAR works in the three inter-related areas of research, practice of applied areas in performing arts and performance. This network tries to bring the academics, performers as well as professionals in applied areas together on a common platform. At a broader level it tries to create a space for all stakeholders in the field of performing arts for interaction, conversation, innovation, collaboration and development. The network would be a project driven network. 

Vidyanidhee Vanarase (Prasad), Founder Director

Vidyanidhee Vanarase is a Founder Director of IAPAR.

Vidyanidhee Vanarase, also know as Prasad, was born and brought up in Pune. He completed his post graduation from the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi. He has directed more than fifty plays in Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, Kannada and English. He has gained proficiency in various interrelated areas - Direction, Teaching and Mentoring, Administration and Management of arts and Applied Arts.

He is associated with several theatre organizations of international repute for the last one decade. He has worked with Prithvi International Theatre Festival, India, London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), UK, Project Phakama, South Africa to name a few.

He has been involved in theatre training for the last 20 years and has worked as visiting faculty - guest director at several universities and theatre institutes in India and abroad. His plays have been performed in various parts of India in regional and national theatre festivals. His plays have also traveled internationally to UK, Europe and Asia.

He has been working with the corporate world as a consultant. He has developed and delivered workshops and programmes on Team Building and Group Effectiveness. He uses theatre techniques to offer better understanding of team work and group effectiveness. He has conducted workshops for AMDOCS, Cooper Group, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Force Motors,  Infosys, KPIT to name a few.

Since 2005, he was involved in developing a new institution, FLAME, (Foundation for Liberal And Management Education). Initially he worked as an Associate Dean for setting up the FLAME School of Liberal Education, the first liberal education programme in India. In June 2009, FLAME decided to initiate a School of Performing Arts and he took responsibility of setting up the new school, which included everything from planning to execution. He worked as Dean of the school for 4 years.

He is a Founder Director of International Association for Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR).
IAPAR is the only Indian member institution of the UNESCO - UNITWIN Network for Higher Education in Performing Arts.

At present he is setting up the Indian National Centre of International Theatre Institute - UNESCO.

Dr. Ajay Joshi, Associate, India

Dr Ajay Joshi is a practicing Dentist, with a PhD on theatre Criticism, and Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has freelanced with major Indian and International Newspaper, magazines and Journals on Theatre and Culture.

Ajay has been involved in theatre festivals as a media person, organiser, coordinator and judge. He has translated Marathi plays into English. He has presented numerous  papers in National and International seminars and lectured on Theatre.

He is visiting lecturer at Symbiosis University, Ranade Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Pune and Flame School of Performing Arts.

Currently he writes on theatre for Saakal times, E-Rang and Critical Stages .com, a journal of the International Association Of Theatre Critics.

Dr. Jimmy A. Noriega, Associate, USA

Dr. Jimmy A. Noriega is an award-winning teacher, director, scholar, and dramaturg. He holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from Cornell University and currently teaches in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the College of Wooster.

His research and teaching areas are Latin American and Latina/o theatre, as well as acting, directing, performance studies, and theatre for social change. He has directed plays in English and Spanish, including performances at theatres and festivals in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Romania, Israel, and across the U.S.

Jonathan Parsons, Associate, Australia

Jonathan Parsons has been working as a Festival Director, Creative Producer and Curator the past three decades. He has designed, developed and created several innovative ideas.

He was the Festival Director of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Associate Director of Adelaide Festival of Arts, Director for the Riverfestival and International Associate for London International Festival of Theatre, London UK.

At present he works as the Artistic Director for Experimenta.

Lucy Richardson, Associate, UK

Lucy Richardson’s research interest, which includes both traditional and performance research, is in ‘creative processes and the politics of participation’. She established and directs The Facility: Research Centre in Creative Practice at London Met to champion practice based research.

Lucy also continues to work as a theatre director and facilitator.  Lucy is one of the founding members of Project Phakama, an International arts and cultural exchange programme founded by LIFT.  She has directed several projects in Southern Africa and London and launched Phakama in South America. Lucy has worked in India training actors.

Lucy was Artistic Director of Lewisham Youth Theatre for ten years and founded Camden Young People’s Theatre. Lucy is associate artist of DiverseCity and Lightwork Image Performance.  She is on the Board of Goat and Monkey Theatre Company and Playing On Theatre Company and is a trustee of Project Phakama. 

M. Safeer, Associate, Sri Lanka

M. Safeer is an award winning Theater Director, Playwright, Author, Publisher and pioneer in introducing the concept of Black Box Theater in Sri Lanka.

Safeer has been the Founder and Chief Consultant of Inter Act Art – IAA.

He initiated the very first international theatre festival in Sri Lanka titled ‘Colombo International Theatre Festival’ (CITF) in 2012. The CITF has grown a lot in the past three years and generated a lot of interest in global context. 

He has been directing and teaching at several institutions across the globe.

Jeffrey Sichel, Associate, USA

Jeffrey Sichel is The Establishing Director of The UNESCO - ITI Network for Higher Education in The Performing Arts based in Paris, Shanghai and Washington. He is a noted international stage director, professor and pedagogue specializing in intercultural engagement in the arts.

Jeffrey is a visiting faculty member at The National School of Drama in New Delhi and holds additional academic posts in China, Spain and The United States. MFA, Columbia University, New York. Ph.D, Shanghai Theatre Academy, China. In Pune, he is currently engaged working with The Film and Television Institute of India and MIDAS.

Abhishek Thapar, Associate, India

Abhishek Thapar is an actor, puppeteer and a clown! He has been involved in IAPAR since it was in a seed form.

Abhishek has completed his Masters in Business Administration. While pursuing his studies, he got involved with a theatre company, which encouraged him to take a brave decision… To leave the corporate world and enter into the world of performing arts!

He then worked with FLAME School of Performing Arts during its formative stage. He traveled to London, UK to pursue his studies at London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). He has completed his two years programme at LISPA and now he is working with several theatre performers in India and abroad.

Gauri Vanarase, Associate, Canada

Gauri Vanarase started her dance training in Kathak while growing up in India. After pursuing it to a professional level, her interest in modern dance led to getting her MA in Theatre and Dance from the University of New Mexico, USA. She was the recipient of Fine Art's Finest and the Brian Hansen Fellowship while studying there.

Gauri is also a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

Gauri has completed her PhD in Dance Studies from York University. For more details, visit

Katie Brock Evans, Associate, UK

Katie Brock's previous roles include Head of Operations, for the FLAME School of Performing Arts and Head of International and Cultural Programmes at the English-Speaking Union in London. She has run conferences and seminars worldwide and has managed fundraising for organisations such as Teach For India.

Katie is currently training in psychotherapy in London.