|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 8”
|Eye Colour||Light Brown|
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper (Semi-bald)|
|Debut||Theatre (Director): King Oedipus
Film (Actor): Bhagvad Gita: Song of the Lord (1993)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Won Rang Yatra Samman in 1993
• Won U.P. Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1995
• Won the Bhartiya Fankar Society Award in 1996
• Won Best Costume Designing Award for the play ‘Love For Ever’ at the International Theatre Festival in the USA in 1998
• Received Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 2015 for his contribution to the field of theatre direction
• Won ‘Honourary Diploma’ awarded by International Amateur Theatre Association in Norway
• Felicitated by Navonmesh NGO in 2020 for completing 10 years with the NGO
|Date of Birth||8 May 1953 (Friday)|
|Age (as of 2023)||70 Years|
|Birthplace||Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India|
|Hometown||Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh|
|College/University||Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh|
|Educational Qualification||• Bachelor of Science
• Bachelor of Law
• Specialisation in Direction Hindustan Times
|Address||C-11, Sector- I, Aliganj, Lucknow-226024|
|Relationships & More|
|Wife/Spouse||Neelam Kulshreshtha (homemaker)|
|Children||Son(s)- Tuhin Kulshreshtha (vice president at Barclays Capital)
Nitin Kulshreshtha (assistant brand manager at Sunfeast Biscuits, ITC)
|Parents||Father- Kameshwar Nath Kulshreshtha
Mother- Girija Devi
Some Lesser Known Facts About Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha
- Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha is a veteran Indian actor, director, and playwriter, who has worked in many films and theatrical productions. He is known for acting and directing theatre plays in multiple languages. He has formerly worked as a director at Bhartendu Natya Academi in Lucknow.
- In childhood, he made his first appearance on stage as a deity on the occasion of Janmashtami.
- Bhartendu Natya Academi (BNA) in Lucknow opened in 1975, and Surya’s batch was one of the first batches of students at the academy who enrolled in the specialization of direction course.
- Before working in theatre, he worked at the ‘Hawa Mahal’ radio show.
- He started working at Life India Corporation (LIC) in 1972. In an interview, he shared that working at LIC helped him in pursuing his passion since, according to him, working in theatre was not sufficient for him to sustain, he said,
My job has helped me feed my passion. They gave me a lot of freedom for theatre. The fact is, without a job, the theatre could not have sustained me. Then, the only option would have been to do TV or films for survival. In the Hindi belt, to live with just theatre is still not possible. Then it was even tougher. All theatre legends have done something or either. Rajji (Bisaria) was teaching, Anil Rastogi was in CDRI, and Urmil Kumar Thapliyal was in radio. So were others. For plays, there are grants but that has opened up ‘shops’. There are people who run multiple societies within the group and commit fraud for grants. Today, after so many years, I can say that theatre can sustain me but it’s not the same for everyone. Also, my lectures and workshops give me returns.”
- In 1974, he began to work at the Meghdoot Theatre group in Lucknow; he worked there as a vice president, general secretary, and treasurer at the theatre group; he left the position in 1985.
- In 1976, he directed his first play as a student titled ‘Andhere Mein,’ which was based on Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh’s book of the same name.
- In 1985, he began to work at Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA). He held the positions of president, vice president, and LKO at the theatre association.
- He directed the Hindi play ‘Ram Leela’ in 1985, which gained appreciation at the National Festival of Sangeet Natak Academy in Delhi.
- He worked as an assistant director and production controller for the 1986 National Award-winning Hindi drama film ‘Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin.’
- In 1988, he worked as an assistant director, screenplay writer, and dialogue writer for the Hindi TV serial ‘Amir Khusrau’ on Doordarshan. Some other TV shows in which he has worked as a screenplay and dialogue writer include ‘Tagore Stories,’ Kinara Door Nahin,’ and ‘Pathrile Raaste.’
- In 1991, he began to work as the director and president of the National Institute of Progressive Arts (NIPA) Rangmandali.
- He directed the play ‘Bhagwadjjukeeyam’ in 1991, which was honoured for being the best production at the World Theatre Festival held in Norway.
- In 1993, he was invited by Arhus University in Denmark for conducting a workshop and delivering a lecture.
- In 1993, he was chosen for representing India at the World Theatre Project program in Germany.
- He has appeared in many theatrical productions, which were directed by Indian and foreign directors. Some of the theatrical productions in which he has acted include ‘Kolage,’ ‘Tambe Ke Keerey,’ Mahanagar – Teen Samwad,’ ‘Ek Aur Dronacharya,’ ‘Burning Path,’ and ‘Barefoot in Athens.’
- In 1999, the theatre play ‘Kundmala,’ which was directed by him, was performed at Kalidas Samaroh in Ujjain.
- He has directed more than 100 theatre plays with many theatre groups and drama institutes. Some Hindi plays directed by him include ‘Ram Leela,’ ‘Vasansi Jirnani,’ ‘Andha Yug,’ ‘Bhagwajjukeeyam,’ ‘Mrichchakatikam – Mitti Ki Gadi,’ ‘Adhe Adhure,’ and ‘Ajab Nyay – Gajab Nyay.’
- He has also directed some English language plays such as ‘Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,’ ‘The Exception and the Rule,’ ‘Lower Depths,’ ‘Men Without Shadows,’ and ‘Puho Mies,’ which was a Finnish play.
- He is also a playwriter and has written scripts for many theatrical productions such as Natak Ganesh – Marka,’ ‘Tukare,’ ‘Insaf Ka Ghera,’ which was a Hindi version of ‘Caucasian Chalk Circle’ by Bertolt Brecht, ‘Veer Lorik,’ based on Indian tribal folklore, ‘Mrig Trishna,’ a modern play based on the principles and life of Buddha, ‘Parivartan Ki Gatha,’ which was based on Dalit movements.
- Many articles and writeups written by him about the aspects of the theatre were published in many newspapers and periodicals such as Rang Prasang and Chhayanat.
- He often designs the sets and costumes of theatrical productions which are directed and written by him.
- Apart from being a theatre actor, director, playwriter, and designer, he has contributed to the theatre industry in many other ways. He has conducted several workshops and delivered lectures in many countries such as India, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and more. He has taken acting classes, delivered lectures, and conducted workshops at Lucknow University, the National School of Drama in New Delhi, the Drama School in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, and IIT Kanpur.
- In 2003, he played the role of a Dhabewala in the Indian silent crime drama short film ‘The Bypass’ in which Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui were cast in lead roles.
- In 2006, he became a member of the selection committee for admission at the National School of Drama in New Delhi.
- In 2013, he appeared as Tiwari in the Hindi crime drama film ‘Monsoon Shootout.’
- In 2018, he played the role of Badri Kaka in the Hindi thriller drama film ‘Daas Dev.’
- In 2020, he appeared in a supporting role as Ramjap Baba in Netflix’s English drama romance TV mini-series ‘A Suitable Boy,’ based on Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel of the same name.
- In 2023, he appeared in the Hindi courtroom drama film ‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai’ (previously known as ‘Bandaa’) in which he played the role of Asaram Bapu.
- In an interview, he talked about his vision of theatre, and what he learned throughout his journey of working in theatre. He said,
Everyone has their own vision for theatre and with time it keeps evolving. The first thing I learnt is that visuals should speak louder than words. By radio show Hawa Mahal, I learnt the importance of audio which can create visuals while the value of simplicity I learnt from Ram Leela. My real training happened under the influence of stalwarts and learning from BNA. My vision broadened with various theatre forms — realistic, international (western), folk and classical. My canvas widened by reading various philosophies, literature, culture and history.”
- He is often spotted consuming alcohol in public.