We announces our annual theatre workshop.
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Act To Act

Performed house full shows on 12th & 13th June @ Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai

Act To Act

In May 2018, culminated ACT TO ACT, our annual theatre workshop.

Finished a very successful North India tour of Talli Tuesday in Jan 2018.

ACT TO ACT, our annual theatre workshop: 18th March to 29th April 2018

Performing Dhara Ki Kahani for BMC school kids through Akshara Foundaiton

Dhara Ki Kahani featured at Jashnebachhapn and TIFLI theatre festival, New Delhi

Dhara Ki Kahani travelled to Tripura as part of Jashnebachhapan Children theatre festival.

'A Kind of True Story' featured in National Theatre Festival.

A performance about life & times of Saadat Hasan Manto
Conceived & performed by Ashwath Bhatt
Creative Producer Maneesh Verma

Meet Manto as he delves into his life, childhood, family & friends, facing persecution, self-ridicule, depression, being broke, helplessness, drinking, Hindi cinema, satire, irony, hypocrisy, sadness, strife and moral decay.

The performance is based on articles written by Manto and explores his life, times he lived in and the social changes, he witnessed at the time of India’s Partition. Ashwath Bhatt plays Manto who engages with the audience in person & tries to answer the most important question “Why I write what I write”.

Click here to know more

A highly entertaining compilation of blind dates under the influence of alcohol, which go from subtle to hellish roller coaster ride.

Written & Directed by Amitosh Nagpal

Visit website to know more

Engaging watch on any day of the week. Watch it if you are searching for love or if you think you have found it...
- Mumbai Theatre Guide

Strong script, show stealer, thanks for bringing this to stage...
- Neha Singh, Actor & Writer

Thoroughly enjoyed... very impressive... good quality, sensible, enertaining work in theatre. keep this going.
- Vikas Kumar, TV & Film Actor

For more info
Download Proposal

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09324650850, hello@collectivemadness.studio

Kanupriya Pandit & Maneesh Verma

Aarti Joshi, Kanupriya, Maneesh

Sushil Bonthiyaal

Dhara ki Kahani is a musical in Hindustani. It is the story of a family, where one fine day, household items like water, tap, fan, bulb and dustbin decide to revolt against their misuse. The revolt starts as the tap stops giving water, the bulb stops working, the fan stops moving and the dustbin decides to stop collecting garbage. As the family members don't understand all this, the grandfather helps them realise their mistake. In the end, the family promises Dada Ji that they will take care of their immediate environment.

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Director's Note
The basic premise of this play is “What will happen if one day our household things like Tap, Bulb, Fan & Dustbin decide to revolt against their misuse.”

is an extended version of an idea which was developed by our actor and writer friend Balaji Gauri four years ago and we thank her immensely for inspiring us to take it forward.

Doing a play for Kids was a challenging experience for us as average age of our team is 30. The play evolved with each passing day as our actors started relating to animate and inanimate characters, which is not an easy task but the bottom line was “enjoy the present moment”. The play, on one-hand tries to sensitize us to our immediate environment and on the other, talks about the bigger picture that is “The Mother Nature.”

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We are professional theatre company. As theatre practitioners, we continually challenge ourselves to push the boundaries of our creative aspirations by exploring different forms, styles and content. Our strength lies in our ability to contribute beyond our specific portfolios and it is this freedom, which makes the process of creating every theatre piece a memorable experience. Creation is an organic and intensive process for us, to achieve desired impact and authentic expression. Every theatre project of ours is an attempt to find that unique connect between us and our audience around issues we believe in.

Mumbai is a melting pot of many theatre companies, each with a distinct character and different audiences. The perfect scenario for any art form to thrive, but therein lies the economics of sustainability. Thus, it is our constant struggle to strike a balance between commercials and quality.

Our main initiatives to connect with the community around and our audience are:

White Collars, Red Ties:
An initiative to bring theatre techniques and methods to address issues and challenging situations in a corporate scenerio.

Act To Act Theatre Workshop:
An initiative to help beginners kick start their acting & theatre journey.

Young @ Hearts:
Our initiative to connect and tell special stories for our young and most special audience.

Dots & Lines:
Our initiative where we collaborate with other individuals, artists, performers and theatre groups, to explore and work around our common goals and vision.


Maneesh Verma


National School of Drama, New Delhi Graduate, 2002. Specialization in Acting.

Self-taught Web Designer and Developer.

17 years of theatre experience with more then 40 major plays. Worked with eminent directors from India and abroad like Stayed Dubey, Naseeruddin Shah, Mohan Aghast, Lillete Dubey, Baba Corinth, Ratan Thiyam, Barry John, Anuradha Kapoor, Ram Gopal Bajaj, Stephan Shuck (Germany), Rob Clair (England) and Peter James (England). Some of the most important productions as an actor are August Osage County (Trecy Letts), Prometheus Bound (Aeschylus), Midsummer Nights Dream (Shakespeare), Death and the Maiden (Ariel Dorfman), An Inspector Calls (J. B. Priestley), Judith (Howard Barker), Time and the Conways (J. B. Priestley), Night of January 16th (Ayn Rand).

To know more please visit the link below...

Kalyani Hiwale


National School of Drama, New Delhi Graduate, 2000. Specialization in Design & Direction.

IB Certification in Theatre Arts, ISTA, UK.

Apart from being a theatre director, Kalyani has extensive experience in theatre in education and now she has been teaching drama to children for the past 12 years. kalyani has come to understand that working with children is a purely magical and transforming process. Currently, She is working with Theatre Professionals as a Drama Facilitator. She believes that theatre has a very important role to play in terms of educating people and making them think differently, which is why she loves to invest her energy in working with young minds.

To know more please visit the link below...


A well crafted psychological thriller set in 2013. A dark & stormy night. A cozy house of an upper middle class couple, outside Vadodra. A knock on the door. A stranger becomes a guest. 11 year old memory - 27th Feb 2002 - comes to revisit, opening old wounds. Love is a casualty, Relationship a disaster. Identity becomes a shackle, faith in society a sham. A psychological magnification of the contemporary social fabric!

Concieved and Directed by Maneesh Verma & Kalyani Hiwale

Actors' Cult collaborted with Banglore based Folk-Rock band Lagori as part of MTV Dewarist Season 3. Five Actors' Cult members and the Band stayed in a Manali Resort and collectively worked on a song. The main theme of the Dewarist Season 3 was collaboration between music and performing arts

Click the image below to watch the video.

A Kind of True Story

Opened at Prithvi Theatre Mumbai on 23rd & 24th of July 2013

For every person, there is a dream that leads them to a new destination… thousands throng to Mumbai every single day following their dreams… upon reaching here each is drawn into it’s reeking unbreakable embrace. From that moment, this city becomes your battleground; you become a gladiator riding your high horse of freedom, chasing that rainbow of dreams.
The story traces one year of the lives of eight people who have been captivated by this Maya Nagari. The production is a contemporary musical, which will play with our perception of the reality, sometimes breaking it and sometimes baring it till you squirm in your seat. The production celebrates the inner and outer chaos of the characters and the chaos of Mumbai itself. Music is a mix of Western and Indian and played recorded with minus one tracks. Actors sing live on stage. The characters speak as most of us speak in Mumbai. A cocktail of English, Hindi and Marathi.

DIRECTOR: Kalyani Hiwale
SCRIPT WRITER: Balaji Gauri & Rahul Bagga

To know more pls click the link below.

Aao Saathi Sapna Dekhen Poster

Aao Saathi... closing play at National Theatre Festival 2009.

Aao Saathi... closing play at Rangshankara Festival 2009.

Aao Saathi... Opening play at META Festival 2009.

Actors' Cult got BEST ENSEMBLE for Aao Saathi Sapna Dekhen at META Festival, 2009.


Aao Saathi a dreamlike musical, is a sheer joy to watch...
- Jyoti Vyas, Mumbai Theatre Guide.

City's Theatre could do some good with their energy...
- Deepa Gahlot, Theatre Critic.

One of the top five plays of 2007...
- Hindustan Times.

The play proves that slapstick is a highly skilled science...
- Pragya Tiwari, Mumbai Mirror.

Swanand's lyrics and singing gently carry the hilarious action to the level of sensitive poetry...
- Rajiv Valichetty, Reader, University of Hyderabad.


Lyrics and direction by National Award Winner Swanand Kirkire.

After the tremendous success of the songs of 3 Idiots, Papa, Hazaron Khwahisein Aisi, Parinita, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Khoya Khoya chand, Laaga Chunri Maine Daag, it showcases the some of the most awesome and sensitive poetry of recent times.

The play operates at the intersection of the rich simplicity of indian folk theatre and the best of popular Hindi cinema.

The language is Hindustani at its best, weaving effortlessly the mandane, the comic and the philosophical.

Every single sound on stage is live.


Aao Sathi… is a musical set in Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi. It is a love story of a boy (Baiju Khan), and girl (Gauraiya), the events of which are planned by their respective fathers (Miya Khan and Chironji Lal Gupta)… but soon things begin to take their own course. The story is told by a narrator (Bahumukhi) and his assistant (Sur, a mute).

The first part of Aao Sathi… unfolds like a dream, that magical time all of us have experienced in our youth… those days of listless abandon, that mad pursuit for love and what it felt like to have your heart pounding against your chest when found it, that strange innocence which allowed you to see rainbows even when it didn’t rain… the second half continues with this dream bit more but later brings you face to face with the brightness of the day, that painful transition when you can no longer shut your eyes to the harsh glare of the reality, that strong grasp which threatens to crush your very soul when you are separated from the one you love, when ambition begins to rule you and you stop finding joy in simple pleasures. What happens then, do you succumb or do you still hold on to your dreams?

Sometime we need to travel back in time to know ourselves… come, take the journey with us.

Director's Note

As somebody said...
Life is a celebration.
So let’s celebrate...
Our dreams and our realities,
Our happiness and our sorrow,
Our togetherness and our loneliness,
Our success and our failure,
Our frustration and our excitement,
Our madness and our sanity...

For me theatre, because it is dynamic and frenetic as it makes use of living instruments, continues to stir up shadows and emotional nuances. My theatre uses everything - singing, gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness and rediscovers itself in the most naked manifestations of human emotions. And these emotions never fail to cascade into the audience which experiences them as a reflection of their own life, their own dreams. An emotional intimacy, the collective nostalgia is what one achieve through creating an energetic, lively theatre where laughter and pain, song and dance, cries and whispers all are whipped up on stage in their purest most visceral form. This play is a tribute to the inner hum which is present in every living being.

Season 1

11th Nov 2007 2 Shows Opened at Prithvi Musical Festival
24th Dec 2007 1 Show Bhopal, Ustad Allauddin Khan Festival
5th & 6th Jan 2008 4 Shows Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai
24th & 25th Jan 2008 2 Shows Hydrabad University, Hydrabad
3rd & 4th May 2008 4 Shows Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai

Season 2

20th Sept 2008 1 Show Mysore Association, Matunga, Mumbai
21st Sept 2008 1 Show Manik Sabhagriha, Bandra, Mumbai
27th Sept 2008 1 Show ISCKON Auditorium, Juhu, Mumbai
28th Sept 2008 1 Show Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Chaupatty, Mumbai
2nd Oct 2008 1 Show Sophia Hall, Breach Candy, Mumbai
11th Oct 2008 1 Show ISCKON Auditorium, Juhu, Mumbai
12th Oct 2008 1 Show Y B Chavan, Mantralay, Mumbai
25th Oct 2008 1 Show TATA Main, NCPA, Mumbai
26th Oct 2008 1 Show Manik Sabhagriha, Bandra, Mumbai

Season 3

16th Jan 2009 1 Show Lakhnow, National Theatre Festival
19th Jan 2009 1 Show Delhi, National Theatre Festival
March 2009 1 Show Delhi, META Festival
15th Nov 2009 2 Shows Banglore, Rangshankara Festival
March 2010 5 Shows Prithvi, Mumbai
11th Aug 2010 1 Show Times of India, Banglore
2nd Oct 2010 1 Show Times of India festival, Mumbai
11th Dec 2010 1 Show Jan Natya Manch festival, Mumbai
In all 35 Shows  


Bahumukhi Harsh Khurana
Sur Viinod Rai
Baiju Khan Amitosh Nagpal
Gauraiya Neha Saraf / Vega Tamotia
Chironji Lal Gupta Vinod Nahardih
Miyan Khan Swanand Kirkire
Lallan Kuldeep Ruhil / Kranti Prakash
Natha Ram Gaur Satish Trivedi / Vishwanath
Jhanak Singh Jai Hind Kumar
Lead Singer Swanand Kirkire
Chorus Shiva Chopra, Shyam, Maneesh Verma


Direction & Lyrics Swanand Kirkire
Script Harsh Khurana
Music Sneha Khanwalkar
Design Kalyani Hiwale
Lights Narayan Chauhan
Choreography Viinod, Maneesh
Stage Manager Kuldeep Ruhil
Poster & Brochure Maneesh Verma
Executive Producer Maneesh Verma

Special thanks to Sheetal Ladha, Bijesh Jayarajan
and Vidu Vinod Chopra for their support.


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Click any thumbnail for a slideshow.


Borys: A Monologue

Borys is a 10 mins monologue in English which opened at Short & Sweet Theatre Festival 2012.

Maneesh Verma won the award of BEST ACTOR for it at Short & Sweet Festival.

It has also been invited to be part of Prithvi Theatre Festival 2012 Carnival.

He is as guilty as sin and has to pay the price but he certainly will not do so until he has told you all the facts, and after you have heard him out will it be too late...

DIRECTOR: Kalyani Hiwale
WRITER: CJ Johnson
CAST: Maneesh Verma, Kuldeep Ruhil

My Sister... My Frien (2006)

Funded by Arts Network Asia (ANA).
Directed by Kalyani Hiwale.

A two actors collaborative project exploring the lives of a transsexual from Philippines and a eunuch from India.

The two actors were Felimon Blanco from Philippines and Sanjay Gautam from India. Felimon observed a Transsexual ‘Leslie‘ in Manila and Sanjay observed a eunuch ‘Arti’ in Delhi for one month then both the actor came together for a workshop of 21 days. Actors tried to explore the similarities and differences between the two characters through various exercises and improvisations.


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Night of January 16th (2004)

Hindi adaptation of Ayn Rand’s play by the same title.
Actors’ Cult’s first production.
Directed by Kalyani Hiwale.
Adapted by Maneesh Verma.

A court room drama, where a jury, comprising of 12 members chosen from the audience will have to decide the fate of the main protagonist Isha Pillai. The trial is so well balanced that the jury will have to question their own moral and social values to come out with a verdict.

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