Habib Tanvir, Indian playwright, director, actor and poet (Sept. 1, 1923 — June 8, 2009), broke with traditional (European) theatrical form to embrace folk cultures in Indian theatre. He included indigenous performance forms to create a new theatrical language and produced masterpieces like Charandas Chor, Gaon ka Naam Sasural, Mor Naam Damad and Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna – just to name a few of his hugely rich theatrical repertoire.
It is very difficult to categorise Tanvir’s brand of theatrical art. In 1959 Tanvir and his future wife, Moneeka Mishra, founded Naya Theatre, a company devoted to folk performance and where he employed both folk performers as actors alongside urban actors. He created an idiom that was not only familiar to the folk performers, but also acquired a modern sensibility with the passage of time.