Rootedness & the Nomadic Imagination: Pangea World Theater Looks Towards the Next 25 Years

#25DaysFor25Years Week 3: Re-Imagining Our Future(s)




After a quarter century making innovative and intersectional theater that is at once local and global, Pangea World Theater has big plans for the future. Not surprisingly, these plans are rooted in their multidisciplinary aesthetics and guiding principles of equity, solidarity and community. Pangea's Co-Artistic Directors, Meena Natarajan and Dipankar Mukherjee sat down with Directing Fellow Ismail Khalidi to take stock of the past 25 years and to share their vision for the journeys ahead.



Meena Natarajan is a playwright and director and the Executive and Artistic Director of Pangea World Theater, a progressive, international ensemble space that creates at the intersection of art, equity and social justice. She has led the theater’s growth since it’s founding in 1995. Meena has co-curated and designed many of Pangea World Theater’s professional and community based programs. She has written at least ten full-length works for Pangea, ranging from adaptations of poetry and mythology to original works dealing with war, spirituality, personal and collective memory. Meena leads ensemble-based processes in Pangea that lead to works produced for the stage. She has also directed and dramaturged several original theater and performance art pieces. She is currently on the board of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists and is a National Theater Project Advisor at New England Foundation for the Arts. She was on the Advisory Committee of the Community Arts Network, was on the founding board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and was the president of Women’s Playwrights International between 2000-2003. She has been awarded grants from the Theatre Communications Group, Playwrights Center and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She was recently awarded the Visionary Award for mid-career leaders from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.



Dipankar Mukherjee is a professional director originally from Calcutta, India with a 25-year history of directing. He is the Artistic Director of Pangea World Theater. He co-founded Pangea World Theater, an international theater in Minneapolis that is a progressive space for arts and dialogue. His aesthetics have evolved through his commitment to social justice, equity and deep spirituality and these factors along with relevant politics form the basis of his work. As a director, he has worked in India, England, Canada and the United States.


Dipankar has received the Humphrey Institute Fellowship to Salzburg and has been a Ford Foundation delegate to India and Lebanon. He is a recent recipient of the Bush Leadership Fellowship award to study non-violence and peace methodologies in India and South Africa. Dipankar was invited to visit the White House as part of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Delegation. In his rehearsal and workshop practices, Dipankar facilitates processes that work to disrupt colonial, racist and patriarchal modalities that we have inherited and collaboratively searches for an alternate way of working.


These big plans for the future are not possible if we do not have our community by our side. You can join us in this work by clicking the link below.




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