Our Mission

Shunya, a Houston-based non-profit theatre troupe, is dedicated to providing a voice to the South Asian American experience through the visual and performing arts.

What is Shunya?

Shunya literally means “zero, nothing, or emptiness” in Sanskrit. The name comes from the Buddhist concept of “nothing” as the ultimate goal of realization. The Buddhist shunya, the Hindu brahman, and the Jain atman are all closely linked. In India, theatre traditions have always been intertwined with spiritual pursuits. Further, the name also alludes to Peter Brook’s (whose production of the Hindu epic the Mahabharata won him both acclaim and controversy) concept of “the empty space”. The theatre is shunya or “empty” until we come together as artists and patrons to bring it to life with our collective imagination. When you start with nothing, anything is possible.

Shunya’s Co-Artistic Director Sara Kumar appeared on Houston’s Fox 26 News in July 2012 to discuss our play The Adventures of Hanuman. The video provides a great introduction to Shunya.