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Deepan Sivaraman

Associate Professor

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School of Culture and Creative Expressions

Education & Research

Deepan obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from the School of Drama of Calicut University in Kerala with a specialisation in theatre direction and post graduate degree in Dramatic Arts from the Pondicherry Central University. He gained his MPhil degree from the Mahatma Gandhi University of Kerala for the thesis entitled Transmutation process, Novel to Drama- Herman Hess’s Siddhartha a case study. Later he moved to London with a Charles Wallace India Trust Award and received a second post graduate degree in Scenography from the Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. At CSM he specialised in visual language of performance art and wrote a thesis Scenography is a moving installation. He also undertook a research placement at Academy of Arts Wroclaw, in Poland where he worked on object dramaturgy and researched on the works of Jerzy Grotoswki and Tadeusz Kantor.

His practice–led PhD entitled Spatial Identities and Visual language in Indian theatre at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London exploring the possibilities of an interactive visual language in Indian theatre alternative to word based proscenium drama. He created three productions as part of this research which were Spinal Cord (2009) based on the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Peer Gynt (2010) based on the play by Henrik Ibsen and Ubu Roi (2012) based on the play by Alfred Jarry.

PhD concept note:-

‘Modern Indian theatre’, generally accepted by theatre scholarship in India as having been established during the colonial period is predominantly proscenium based. Though 20th century avant-garde theatre around the world has moved its spatial boundaries from end on proscenium experience, Indian theatre remains with its colonial legacy of proscenium arch. This research aims to re-configure existing theatre spaces in India to produce spatially interactive and socially engaging works that challenges this ongoing legacy. This research answers the question how the configuration of audience performer spaces influences the language of theatre performance and how that impact upon the sensibility of urban and rural theatre goers in India.

Past Employment

Before joining at AUD in 2012, Deepan has taught scenography and performing art at various universities in India and Europe including Summer Academy of Art in Venice, Chelsea College of Art and Design London, University of Lincoln, National School of Drama in Delhi, Hyderabad Central University, and School of Drama of Calicut University in Kerala. He worked as a Studio Tutor and overseas placement director at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design for two years and also taught at Wimbledon College of Art in London for three years. He co curated International Theatre festival of Kerala in 2012. He is the founding Artistic Director of Oxygen Theatre Company based in Kerala.


Stage adaptations

Ubu Roi based on Alfred Jarry’s play, 2012

Spinal Cord inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel The chronicle of a death Foretold, 2008

Palm grove tales based on O V. Vijayan’s novel The Legend of Ghasakh, 2006

Siddhartha inspired by Herman Hesse’s novel Siddartha, 2002

Lord of the flies based on William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, 1998

A strange story based on a Chinese folk tale Tiger, 1995


The hegemony of the imperial proscenium and its iron grip over post colonial Indian theatre.
ITFOK Festival Book, December, Thrissur 2009, Page 62-65(Copy attached)

How Authentic is Authentic?
ITFOK Festival Book, February, Thrissur 2012, Page 63-65 (Copy attached)

Conference papers presented

Scenography of traditional Indian theatre- An alternative to end on performance experience.
International Conference Pondicherry University 2012

Paradox of Indian scenography.
ISTR Annual Conference, Hyderabad Central University India, 2011

Challenging the supremacy of WORD in Indian theatre through scenography.
CPRACSIS International Theatre Conference, Kerala, India, 2010

The hegemony of the imperial proscenium and its iron grip over post-colonial Indian theatre.
ISTR Annual Conference, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, 2009

21st Century theatre building for UK and India.
A collaborative presentation with David Burrows Wimbledon College of Art, University of
The Arts London, 2008

Exploring urban space and body through drawings, painting, installation and scenography
Royal College of Art London, United Kingdom, 2008

Contemporary scenography practice in India
University Grant Commission of India’s annual seminar programme Kerala University India,

Professionl Activities/Awards

Major Productions

2012- Scenogrpaher, Dramaturge & Director- National School of Drama. Ubu Roi
2011- Scenographer & Director- Hyderabad University. Romeo. Juliet and Security Guard
2010- Dramaturge, director and scenographer- Oxygen Theatre Company Kerala. Peer Gynt
2009- Playwright, scenographer and director- Oxygen Theatre Company Kerala, Spinal Cord
2006- Associate designer- Trestle theatre company, St Albans UK. The little India
2006- Playwright, scenographer & project director - School of Drama Kerala. Palm Grove Tales
2004- Designer and director- Cochrane theatre London. The circle of the seasons
2004- Designer and director- Theatre Lalka Wroclaw, Poland. Dream of Death
2003-Scenographer - Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre Trivandrum, Kerala. Siddhartha
2002-Scenographer and director- Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre Trivandrum, Kerala. Kamala
2001- Scenographer- Kriya collective New Delhi. Thathri Realising Self
1998-Scenographer and director- Theatre Eye Group Kerala, India. Lord of the Flies

Major Exhibitions

Prague Scenography Quadrennial (PQ11), Indian scenography national category 2011
Space to Space- Triangle Gallery London 2009
Erendira Project Lethbay Gallery London 2005
Space and Objects- Wroclaw Academy of arts Gallery Poland 2004

Major Theatre Festivals participated with productions

2012- International Theatre Festival Thrissur Kerala with Peer Gynt
2011- International Theatre Festival National School of Drama with Peer Gynt
2010- Ibsen Festival New Delhi with Peer Gynt
2010- Mahindra Excellence in theatre Awards New Delhi with Spinal Cord
2010- Rangayana National Theatre Festival Bangalore with Spinal Cord
2009- International Theatre Festival National School of drama New Delhi Spinal Cord
2009- Afro-Asian International Theatre Festival Thrissur Kerala with Spinal Cord
2009- National Theatre Festival Thiruvananthapuram Kerala with Spinal Cord
2007- Avignon Theatre Festival France with Siddhartha
2006- Prithvi Theatre Festival Mumbai with Bagavdajjukam
2006- South Asian Theatre Festival New Delhi with Siddhartha
2004- International Theatre Festival National School of drama New Delhi Siddhartha
2003- International Theatre Festival National School of drama Delhi with Bagavadajjukam
2001- International Theatre Festival National School of drama New Delhi with Verdigris
2000- Festival De Alameda Lisbon Portugal with Verdigris
2000- Asian Woman Theatre Festival New Delhi with Thathri Realising Self


Kerala Sangeet Nataka Academy Award for Best Director 2012
Best Director- Mahindra Excellence Theatre Award 2010
Best Designer- Mahindra Excellence Theatre Award 2010
Best Choreographer- Mahindra Excellence Theatre Award 2010


2010- CCW grant to research on Tadeusz Kantor at Cricoteka in Krakow and Grotowski
Centre in Wroclaw Poland.

2009- University of the Arts London’s grant to develop a research performance project in India in
association with Oxygen Theatre Company.

2003-Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship

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