Nayantara Nayar

PhD Researcher

Nayantara is a PhD Student 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. 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.  Earlier in 2023, 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.

Prior to her PhD, Nayantara worked as a playwright, researcher, and storyteller in Chennai, India. Her body of work includes, ‘The Lottery’ (short-listed for the Hindu Play Writing Award 2018); ‘The Body’ (commissioned by Rage Theatre and Enacte Theatre, California for the New Writing Festival, 2021); ‘Chicken Run’ (part of the Chennai Photo Biennale 2021-22, an archived version is available here); ‘The Sometimes River’ (published in early 2023); and ‘Curfew’ (created as part of Writing Without Borders 2022-23).