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4pm BST / 8pm PKT / 11am EST 

Changing the Narrative

Women Puppeteers in South Asia  - a panel discussion on gender, tradition and the power of puppetry

Join our panelists as they discuss what it means to be a South Asian Woman in puppetry in 2022. Find out about their work and the joys and challenges of being a modern female puppeteer in South Asia today. Live Q & A.

Yamina Peerzada (Pakistan) 


Yamina Peerzada is an Actress, Puppeteer and Puppet Designer from Pakistan. She has graduated with a Master’s degree in Acting for Screen from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. She is one of the only established female puppeteers of Pakistan, having worked in France, Italy, Denmark, India, Turkey, Norway, United Kingdom and Pakistan. She also manipulated and voiced Rani, the protagonist puppet character, in ‘Sim Sim Hamara’, a Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop and Sesame Workshop collaboration.


She is an Artistic Director at Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop since 2012 and a co-founder of The Creative Academy, that focuses on creative learning through a digital platform. She is also part of the visiting faculty at National Academy of Performing Arts, Karachi where she teaches Acting for Screen. 


She has done five Drama Series aired on PTV Home, ARY Digital, TV One, Aplus and Geo Entertainment in Pakistan. Yamina was awarded Best Actress (TV - Terrestrial) at the Lux Style Awards 2014. 


She has conducted and curated many puppet workshops and has been a panellist at festivals such as the South Asian Heritage Month UK, World Performing Art Festivals (Pakistan) and the Women of the World festivals (WOW), in Pakistan, Scotland and London focusing on Body Positivity, Self Worth and Confidence.

Sulochana Dissanayake (Sri Lanka)


Sulochana Dissanayake is a theater creator, educator and puppeteer and is the Founder and Artistic Director of Power of Play (PVT) LTD. Dissanayake is a cum laude graduate of Bates College, USA in Economics and Theater ’09. Dissanayake travelled to South Africa and Indonesia on a Watson Fellowship 2009/10 ( awarded by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation of IBM) to discover the power of performance to build bridges across social, cultural and economical divides. Back in Sri Lanka since 2010, Dissanayake was awarded the the BUNKA Award for puppetry in 2016 (awarded by the Sri Lanka-Japan Friendship Association of Sri Lanka). Dissanayake capitalizes her experience in USA, Europe, Africa and Asia to customize unique communication solutions for corporate, governmental and non-governmental sectors of Sri Lanka.

Anurupa Roy (India)


Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppet theatre director and puppet designer. Her primary interest in the unique relationship between the puppet, puppeteer and performance space. She has used puppetry in classrooms, in juvenile remand homes, in conflict zones, in the streets and at protest sites. She is a puppet theatre researcher with a special focus on puppetry history and traditional form. She is also guest faculty at several universities and a consultant in arts based projects. She is a Trustee of the UNIMA Puppeteers Trust (Indian Chapter of the Union Internationale 

De La Marionette).

She is the Co-founder, Artistic Director and Managing Trustee of The Katkatha since 1998. Katkatha is a travelling puppet theatre group with a repertoire of over thirty shows in festivals in India as well as internationally. Katkatha also works with schools, in urban and village communities. The Katkatha studio space, is a puppet making workshop, rehearsal space and also a residency that houses puppet trainees.

Padmini Rangarajan (India)


Padmini Rangarajan is an Educational Puppeteer, Storyteller, and Folklore Narratives Research Scholar. She is one of the founder members and director of Sphoorthi Theatre for Educational Puppetry, Art and Craft-STEPARC, an NGO organization working with teaching with puppets and promoting puppetry. In 2012-2013, she received a Tata Fellowship in Folklore for her work "Revival of Traditional Wooden String Puppetry of Ammapuram" and a "Swachhta Saarathi Fellowship 2021-22" (Govt. of India initiative). She advocates teaching with puppets in the classroom and in school education.


Fahime MirzaHosseini (Iran)

Director of the Apple Tree Puppet Group, which has been established since 2000.
Writer, director and researcher
Faculty Member of Art University in Tehran, Theatre Department since 2011 and PhD student of Theatre

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