The Kennedy Center

Maya Krishna Rao


Maya Krishna Rao lends a new dimension to contemporary Indian theater – both on and off stage. She acts, sings, dances, writes her own scripts, and directs herself. She engages school children and teachers in the use of drama as a teaching device in the class room. She is one of the few Indian women who do standup comedy. Maya is also member, visiting faculty, National School of Drama, Delhi, where she teaches Acting.  The uniqueness of Maya’s performances derives from varied sources – her training in Kathakali and the use of multi media. Even though she does not use the code of Kathakali, she is clearly influenced by the principles of the form. Since 1999, Maya has also been working closely with film makers and sound designers to take forward her search for a contemporary language of performance.  Maya’s shows have travelled the world, and she has been commissioned to create performances by prestigious theater festivals at home and abroad. Some of her celebrated shows are, Khol Do, A Deep Fried Jam, Heads Are Meant for Walking Into, The 4 Wheel Drive…., Hand Over Fist– perspectives on masculinities, and her latest, Lady Macbeth Revisited. Maya has also been the subject of documentaries and documentation. Doordarshan, India’s public broadcasting channel has made a film about her work.
Maya Rao