Ebrahim Alkazi

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Ebrahim Alkazi
Born (1925-10-18) 18 October 1925 (age 89)
Occupation theatre director

Ebrahim Alkazi (born 18 October 1925[1]) is one of the most influential Indian theatre directors and Drama teachers in 20th-century Indian theatre. He also remained the Director of National School of Drama, New Delhi (1962–1977)[2][3][4] He has also been a noted art connoisseur, collector and gallery owner, and found Art Heritage Gallery in Delhi with his wife, Roshan Alkazi.[5]

Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), he won the BBC Broadcasting Award in 1950. He has directed over 50 plays, including famous productions of: Girish Karnad's Tughlaq, Mohan Rakesh's Ashadh Ka Ek Din, Dharamvir Bharati's Andha Yug and numerous Shakespeare and Greek plays.[2]

Early life education[edit]

Son of a Saudi Arabian business man trading in India at the time, Alkazi was schooled in St. Vincent's High School in Pune and later St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. Thereafter he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.[5]


Early on in his career he got associated with the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, which included M.F.Husain, F.N.Souza, S.H.Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Tyeb Mehta, artists who were later to paint from his plays and design his sets.[5]

As the director of the National School of Drama (NSD), Alkazi revolutionised Hindi theatre by the magnificence of his vision, and the meticulousness of his technical discipline. Here he was associated with training many well-known film and theatre actors and directors including Vijaya Mehta, Om Shivpuri, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Manohar Singh, Uttara Baokar, Jyoti Subhash, Suhas Joshi, B. Jayashree, Jayadev and Rohini Hattangadi .[6]

He also founded Art Heritage Gallery in Delhi with his wife, Roshan Alkazi.

Awards and recognition[edit]

He was the first recipient of Roopwedh Pratishtan's the Tanvir Award (2004) for lifetime contribution to the theatre.[7] He has received awards including the Padma Shri (1966), the Padma Bhushan (1991), and India's second highest civilian award the Padma Vibhushan in 2010.[8]

He has also been award twice by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama, first we received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Direction (1962), and the Akademi's highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theatre.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Roshan Alkazi (d. 2007) who designed costumes for all his plays, and wrote two book on history of Indian garments. She also established the Art Heritage Gallery at Triveni Kala Sangam, Delhi in 1977, which she ran for over 40 years.[9][10] The couple had two children, Amal Allana, a theatre director and ex – chairman of [National School of Drama], and Feisal Alkazi a Delhi-based theatre director.

Further reading[edit]


  • Alkazi collection of photography, with Rahaab Allana, Pramod Kumar, Brunei Gallery. Grantha Corporation, 2008. ISBN 81-89995-18-9.



External links[edit]