Playwright at the Centre - Marathi Drama from 1843 to the Present

Playwright at the Centre - Marathi Drama from 1843 to the Present

Product ID: 3774

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Author: Shanta Gokhle
Publisher: Seagull Books
Year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 580
ISBN/UPC (if available): 817046157X


This history of Marathi Drama - the first of its kind in English - is a path breaking study based on years of research and an intimate knowledge of the theatre world.

The Marathi theatre has been vigorously alive now for over one hundred and fifty years in a continuously vital way6. It is one of the most active and prominent regional theatre traditions in this country. This path breaking study takes a close look at two streams of secular, urban theatre - the touring professional theatre centered in Bombay, whose audience is largely the educated middle-class of Maharashtra's small towns and cities; and the 'other' or 'parallel' theatre which came into being in the early fifties - with Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur as its centers - in rejection of the mainstream theatre which had become irrelevant to the post-Independence generation of college-educated youth.

This is the first such history of Marathon drama to be attempted in English. Positing the centrality of the playwright to Marathi Theatre, this volume takes a close look at milestones and breakthroughs, at significant plays and the trends they spawned. Particularly valuable are the extensive extracts, allowing the reader a rare glimpse of scripts which are otherwise impossible to access.

The introduction is a rapid journey one hundred years of theatre from 1843 to 1943, with halts along the way to look more closely at a play, a breakthrough , or a sign of audience taste that might have had a bearing on the direction in which theater moved. Section one pick out for close examination the important works of the most significant playwrights of the 'golden age' of contemporary Marathi theatre, during which 4he parallel theatre movement was born, burgeoned and sent to seed, and the mainstream theatre grew to full maturity.

The second section comprises an overview of theatre activity from 1985 to the present day, including verbatim interviews playwrights. Additional material includes a section of long extracts from contemporary plays, otherwise unavailable in print, interviews with directors who are closely involved with the playwrights of today, and a section of rare archival photographs.