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Akhila Ramnarayan

Divisional Chair, Literature & the Arts

Associate Professor of Practice Cultural Program Curator

Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Dr Akhila Ramnarayan is a writer, independent scholar, theatre actor, and trained Carnatic vocalist with a Ph.D., in postcolonial studies from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA (2006).  She has worked as Learning and Development Manager at Pramati Technologies, Chennai (2013-2018), and taught at the University of Dayton, Ohio (2006-2011) and Asian College of Journalism, Chennai (2011-2014).

A key member of Chennai’s globally touring theatre company JustUs Repertory and founder member of performing arts institute Sahrdaya Foundation, she performs a variety of roles in both: acting, writing, dramaturgy, research, singing, music composition, production, social media design/marketing, and administration. She has received national recognition for theatre (acting) as the 2013-2014 awardee of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar.

Since 2007, Ramnarayan has toured with and acted in JustUs Repertory’s internationally recognised plays When Things Fall Apart, Night’s End, Dark Horse Water Lilies, Land of the Free, Subverse, Mathemagician, and One Day in Ashadha. She has scripted, acted in, and helped produce Sahrdaya Foundation’s Don Quixote, penning the first ever adaptation of the Spanish literary classic in Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music idioms, which successfully completed a fifteen-city US tour in 2015.

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