South Asian Theatre with Universal Appeal

The Modern Vyaasa
The Mahabharata by Jean-Claude Carriére

San Francisco – March 2013 | Houston – March 2013 | Berekley – 2013 | Santa Cruz – March 2013

Produced and Presented by: EnActe Arts

Written By:

Jean-Claude Carriére 

English Translation: 

Jean-Claude Carriére

Vinita Sud Belani


Jean Claude Carriere – The Modern Vyaasa

Boy – Laikh Tiwari

Ganesha – Vidhya Subramanium

A Re-Telling of an Indian epic poem, The Mahabharata

By a Modern Vyasa, the sage author – Jean Claude Carriere

Renowned French playwright, screenwriter, author, actor and raconteur par excellence, Jean-Claude Carriére gives Bay Area audiences a simple but powerful, one-man rendition of the story of Mahabharata, in the style of the old wandering minstrels of India.

The Mahabharata, one of the greatest stories ever told, has passed down to us in a classical canon of Sanskrit verses, over 100,000 stanzas long.  A story of cosmic significance, marking the end of one age and the beginning of another, its ultimate beginnings are lost in the mists of time.  The earliest layers of the epic may have been composed over 2,000 years ago.  Rich in lore and legend, episode and detail,

family histories, myth, and fable, The Mahabharata is unique in its breadth of vision.

The authorship of The Mahabharata is attributed to sage Vyasa, himself a character in the epic, who dictated the story to his scribe, Lord Ganesha. 

Jean-Claude Carriére spent eleven years in India immersing himself in this longest epic ever written by man, tracing its roots in civilization, geography and its relevance in modern India. His nine hour magnum opus, The Mahabharata, opened in 1985 under the stellar direction of his lifetime collaborator Peter Brook and an international cast, and quickly became a watershed moment in theatrical history across the Western world.


Jean-Claude Carriére’s name figures in the list of the greatest story tellers of our time with a prolific body of work spanning six decades.

Jean-Claude Carriére is an Academy Award winning script writer and director for over 170 films including The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Chinese Box.  He is a celebrated playwright for The Mahabharata and the Conference of the Birds, an adaptation of 10th century Sufi poem.  He has acted in 80 films and TV series including Dairy of a Chambermaid, Jaya Ganga, and The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

Jean-Claude Carriére’s litany of awards include four Academy nominations and one Oscar, four BAFTA nominations for Best Screenplay and two Awards, and numerous others, including a Grand Prize of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.  Carriére is an Officier de la Légoin d’Honneur, France’s highest honor. He was founder and President of La FEMIS, the French State Film School (the Ecole Nationale de Cinéma) as well as the President of the Festival de theatre de Montpellier and the Printemps des Comedians.

This program is Co-sponsored by SACHI and the Asian Art Museum.  Generous organizational support for the U.S. tour is extended by EnActe Arts.