Vinay Sharma joined Padatik in 1981, receiving his initial theatre training under Shyamanand Jalan.
Acting in many major productions since, he has received critical appreciation for his portrayal of Dr.Stockmann in the Hindi versions of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (Janta Ka Shatru, director: Shyamanand Jalan), The Doctor in Ionesco’s Exit The King (Aur Raja Mar Gaya, Dir: Anmol Vellani), Deputy Sherrif File in Richard Nash’s The Rain Maker ( Baarishwala, dir: Rodney Marriot, Circle Theatre Repertory,USA) as also for his performances in plays by leading Indian playwrights like Vijay Tendulkar (Vishwas Rao in Panchi Aise Hain, Karnik in Khamosh Adalat Jaari Hai), G.P. Deshpande (Vice Chancellor in Uddhwastha Dharamshala, Sripad in Andhar Yatra), Mohan Rakesh (Nand in Lahron ke Rajhans) all directed by Shyamanand Jalan.
1991 saw his directorial debut with an adaptation of Dario Fo in Ek Anarchist Ki Ittefaqia Maut. Thereafter he translated, directed and acted as Vladimir in Beckett’s Godo ka Intezaar Karte Huye and as the lead in Max Frisch’s Mr. Biedrmann Aur Aag lagane Wale
In 1995 he invited GP Deshpande to collaborate and create the play Antim Din through a three way experimental cross-creative process between playwright, director and actors for the first time in Indian theatre.
1998’s Artist and Actor saw a walk-on, improvised and an unprepared reactive performance to an installation by the artist Chittrovanu Mazumdar at NCPA, Mumbai.
He moved on to explore alternative ways in theatre in An Actor and a Work in Space (an original performative interrogation of another installation by Chittrovanu Mazumdar in Calcutta). This was followed by a deconstructive interpretation of Nirmal Verma’s Weekend(1999).During this period he also directed Sanjay Sahay’s Janch Partal, Makarand Sathe’s Char Sau Karod Bhullakar and Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman.
Later years have seen him perform in Late Lateef (dir: Kunal Padhi), and outside Padatik in Pinter’s The Lover (dir:Ashok Vishwanathan), Manto Aur Manto (Dir: Usha Ganguly) , Correspondence – Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan (for Seagull and Goethe Institut) and Dastavez (dir:Pratibha Agarwal)
ho sakta hai do aadmi do kursiyaan was the first play he wrote in Hindi . A two-hander for intimate theatre performances, the play, which he also directed and acted in, opened in 2005. Faith in me (2007) also written by him premiered next at the India Now Festival at Nehru Centre, London. In 2010 he designed Homage-a tribute to Shyamanand Jalan.
From 1987 to 2003 also co-directed, co-wrote and composed songs in English for the annual production at Happy Hours-a co-curricular programme for children between the ages of 6 to 15 years of age. Each play was created after intensive year long work with the children on different themes including Space, India, Mind, Perception, Colour, Language, Freedom, The 20th Century, Movement, Pattern and Readings. Evolution (1993) was also filmed and serialized on the National Television Network.