Arpana was found in 1985 by a group of like-minded theatre people. Sunil Shanbag, Shishir Sharma, Lata Sharma, Reetha Balsavar, Utkarsh Majumdar and Aakash Khurana had been working consistently with Satyadev Dubey till then. One fine day, according to Sunil Shanbag, Dubey gently and firmly pushed them all out to forge their own identity. Thus Arpana came into being. Since then, Arpana's repertoire presents the best of contemporary Indian plays - mainly from the Marathi - and a selection of European plays. In the last ten years Arpana has featured Indian playwrights such as Rajeev Naik, Shafat Khan, Shanta Gokhale, Chandrasekar Phansalkar, Mahesh Elkunchwar, Shankar Shesh, Vijay Tendulkar, Ramu Ramnathan, and European playwrights such as Slawomir Mrozek, Milan Kundera, Firentz Karinthi, and Harold Pinter. Independent direction credits by Sunil Shanbag include:
Striptease & Circus (1986) written by Slawomir Mrozek, translated into Hindi by Ashok Mishra.
Kisse (1987) written by Shafat Khan.
Pratibimb (1987) written by Mahesh Elkunchwar
Chit Ya Pat (1988) written by Rajeev Naik
Avinash (1989) written by Shanta Gokhale
Cyclewallah (1991) written by Vijay Tendulkar
Ramu aur Malik (1992) written by Milan Kundera, translated by Shama Zaidi
Mayavisarovar (1995) written by Shankar Shesh
Do Qaume (1997)written by Sadat Manto
Khel Khel Main (1997) written by Milan Kundera, translated by Nirmal Verma.
Tumbara (1998)written by Sayaji Shinde
Poetry and Motion (1999) An interpretation of poetry in Hindi using movement and music.
Garam Kamra (2001) written by Firentz Karinthi, translated by Raghuvir Sahay and Pramod Pathak. An adaptation of a Hungarian play premiered at the Kala Ghoda Festival 2001
Bansuri (2004) written by Divya Jagdale, the play premiered at the Prithvi Festival, 2004.
Cotton 56, Polyester 84 (2006) written by Ramu Ramnathan.
Arpana's artistic director in-charge, Sunil Shanbag is also an established documentary filmmaker and writer for the television. His 'Artiste Profile' and interview are available on our site.