(August 7, 1958 - living) India
Playwright , director, actor, dancer, teacher and writer
Dattani was born in Bangalore, where his parents settled, although they are from Gujarat and have also lived in Mumbai. His education was at a Christian institution, Baldwin's High School, where the language of instruction was English. He graduated in History, Economics, and Political Science and has a postgraduate degree in Marketing and Advertising Management.
While growing up Dattani learned the classical south-Indian dance of Bharatnatyam, which subsequently helped him to develop skills in managing space on stage. It was not until he finished school and watched some Gujarati and Kannada theater that he identified his calling. However, at the time he was a copywriter at an advertising agency.
For a brief period he worked in his father's business before forming his theater group, Playpen, in 1984. Initially they performed Greek tragedy and modern classics, under Dattani's direction. He often acted in his own productions.
A winner of the Sahitya Akademi award, Dattani has a theatre studio in Bangalore where he conducts workshops on acting, playwriting and directing.