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Dr Sruti Bala

Biographical Information

Sruti Bala (Lucknow/India, 28 December 1973) is Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Theatre Studies in the University of Amsterdam since 2007.

Guest Lecturer at the University of Ghent (Belgium), University of Hull at Scarborough (UK), College of Music and Drama, Khartoum (Sudan), Study Forum Berlin (Germany), and Central University of Hyderabad (India).

Ph.D. at the University of Mainz with a study on the performativity of nonviolent protest.

M.A. in German Literature, Philosophy, Comparative Religion (University of Bonn)

Founding member of the Berlin-based collective sabisa – performing change (

Facilitator in community radio and theatre, in India, Germany, Sudan and the UK.

Student of the Indian classical percussion instrument, tabla.


Sruti Bala is co-ordinator of the Erasmus Mundus MA International Performance Research Programme (MAIPR) at the University of Amsterdam. This programme is organised in collaboration with the universities of Warwick (UK), Helsinki/Tampere (Finland) and Belgrade (Serbia).

MAIPR Programme (University of Warwick)
MAIPR Programme (University of Amsterdam)
Courses taught at BA level

Applied Theatre
Bertolt Brecht (20th century European avantgarde theatre)

Courses taught at MA level

Key Theories in International Performance Research
Dissertation Colloquium and Additional Lectures
Current Research Interests
Community theatre, theatre and performance in zones of violent conflict, contemporary German playwriting, feminist theory, performance theory, participatory pedagogy.



- “Unsere Waffe ist die Beharrlichkeit: Auftreten, Konzept und Aktivitäten der gewaltfreien paschtunischen Armee der Khudai Khidmatgar (1929-1948),” in: Steinweg, Reiner and Ulrike Laubenthal (eds.): Gewaltfreie Aktion: Ein Lesebuch. Frankfurt am Main: Brandes & Apsel-Verlag, April 2011, pp. 107-113.

- “De-stultifyingSpectatorship in the Theatre of the Oppressed,” in: Kloeck, Anja (ed.): The Politics of Being on Stage. Leipzig 2011 (forthcoming)

- Book Review (Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict. Edited by Patrick Anderson and Jisha Menon: Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009; and
Performance in Place of War. By James Thompson, Jenny Hughes, and Michael Balfour. Calcutta and London: Seagull Books, 2009) in: Theatre Survey Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 209-211.

- Book Review in: Theatre Research International Vol. 36, No. 2 (forthcoming)


- Book Review (Theatres of the Troubles: Theatre, Resistance and Liberation in Ireland. By Bill McDonnell. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2008; and
Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger Era. By Patrick Lonergan. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.)
in: Theatre Research International Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 78-79.

- Book Review (Performance Affects: Applied Theatre and the End of Effect. By James Thompson. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) in: Theatre Research International Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 301-2.


- The Performativity of Nonviolent Protest in South Asia (1918-1948). University of Mainz Archive,

- "Khudai Khidmatgar: Nonviolent Army of the Pashtuns,” entry in Encyclopaedia of Protest and Revolution in World History, 5 vols., Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 1965-1970.

- “Theaterräume als Methode der Wissensgenerierung in der Friedensarbeit” co-authored with H. Reich, in: Marcel M. Baumann, Hanne Birckenbach, Volkhard Brandes et al (eds.): Friedensforschung und Friedenspraxis. Ermutigung zur Arbeit an der Utopie. Brandes und Apsel, Frankfurt am Main, 2009.


- "Mirar algo a la luzde las candilejas: consideraciones teóricas acerca de la performance" in: Revista Apuntes No. 130, 2008, pp. 140-147.

- "The Dramaturgy of Fasting in Gandhian Nonviolent Action", in: Balme, C. et al (eds.): Performing the Matrix. Conference Proceedings. E-Podium, Series: Intervisions, Vol. 8, Munich, pp. 289-306.


- "Embodying Autonomy. Gandhi's Fasts as a Form of Nonviolent Protest", in: Boucher, F.E., David, S., Przychodzen, J. (eds.): La Paix. Esthétiques d’une éthique. Peter Lang, Bern, pp. 37-50.


- Konzepte engagierten Schreibens. Logos Publishers, Berlin.

- “Theater im emotionalen Minenfeld. Darstellende Kunst in der Konfliktbearbeitung,“ co-authored with Reich, H. and Baumann, T., in World Peace Service (eds.): peace prints, 11/2006, Supplement to die tageszeitung, Berlin.


- "Why Performance Studies should be interested in non-violent action", in: Balme, C./Wagner, M. (eds.): Beyond Aesthetics. Studies in Performance and Media, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier, pp. 101-110.

"Handeln in der Fremde – entfremdetes Handeln. Reflexionen der Berliner Forumtheatergruppe rabenschwarz", co-authored with Reich, H./ Leucht, C. in: Wieland, H. (ed.): Theater im Dialog - Deutsche und europäische Anwendungen des Theaters der Unterdrückten. Ibidem Verlag, Stuttgart, pp. 207-220.


dr. S. (Sruti) Bala
Capaciteitsgroep Theaterwetenschap

Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18
1012 CP Amsterdam
Room: 314