Advancement and Promotion of Charitable Activities

Usha Ganguli

Theater, for Usha Ganguly, is subordinate to nothing else in the world. For 28 years, she has been using the medium to voice her deepest concerns and share her gravest fears. In the process she has emerged not only as a celebrated actress and director with productions like Mahabhoja, Rudalia and Antaryatra in her repertoire, but also as a writer engaged in unraveling elements that make our world look hideous.

Ganguly is particularly respected for her responses to parochialism that stifles women in India. Her adaptation of Mahasweta Devi’s text “Rudali” which centres on two women who develop a partnership for survival, won her the best director award in 1992. Earlier, she won the Sangeet Nakat Akademi award, besides being honoured by the West Bengal Government as the best actress for the play Gudia Ghara.

A feminist with a daring stance, Ganguly could well have been content with the routine of awards. But a sense of restlessness brought her to theater which she nurtured through her group Rangkarmee.

Not only did she translate and adapt texts of writers like Wesker, Ibsen and Mahasweta Devi, she also evolved scripts for theatrical presentation. A much sought after script writer for film makers like Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen, Gautam Ghosh and Rituparno Ghosh (for whom she wrote Raincoat), Ganguly never allowed glamour to get the better of the artist in her.