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Contemporary Theatre of India - An Overview

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Item Code: UAF730
Publisher: National Book Trust, India
Author: Chaman Ahuja
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9788123764924
Pages: 350 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00 X 8.50 inch
Weight 1.69 kg
Book Description
About the Book

The present book seeks to provide a generic introduction to the contemporary theatre scenario in different parts of India. Researched and written over a period of nearly a decade, it adopts an approach that may be best termed as quasi-academic and quasi-journalistic. Primarily, it affords understanding as well as interpretation of the trends, experiments and major works; but, in the process, it takes up serious issues for closer scrutiny. Nevertheless, the overall tone and tenor continue to be rather informal throughout. The book was born of interaction with both established and uprising exponents of the theatre arts-playwrights, directors, performers, designers, critics, etc.; but it purposefully eschews critical or technical jargon. Ultimately, what we get is a phenomenal attempt to build a comprehensive as well as a perceptive overview of the complex and ever-growing dynamics of the contemporary theatres of India as practised in various regions, languages, cultures. Here, indeed, is a work having monumental significance not only for the teachers, students, scholars and practitioners of the theatre arts but also for the general readers who have interest in culture.

About the Author

Dr. Chaman Ahuja (b. 1933), taught dramatic literature and dramatic theory at the Department of English, Panjab University, Chandigarh, where he became its Chairman in 1986. Starting his career with theatre as a Drama Critic for The Tribune, he contributed hundreds of articles to several learned journals and national dailies mainly on the subject of theatre and allied areas. As Principal Investigator for a UGC project, "Theatre India Today: Towards a New Dramaturgy", by way of field work, he went round India and interviewed about 500 theatre people which ultimately found fruition in the present volume. Besides the work in hand, his publications include Tragedy, Modern Temper and O'Neill (1984), All Life Long, The Same Questions, The Same Answers: Reinterpreting Samuel Beckett (1996), The Mystique of Tragedy: Exploring East and West (1996), Theatre Thinking in India (2012). A Scholar in-Residence at American Studies Research Centre (1990), Senior Fellow, Department of Culture, Government of India (2000-02), he also visited UK on a grant from Charles Wallace India Trust (1996).


For decades, I have felt the need of a book like For decade did I look for such a work in English, Hindi, Urdu, or Punjabi (the languages that I know) as might satisfy my curiosity about the contemporary Indian theatre-the historical background, the quintessence of the theatre of a region, the recent trends, the art and work of the masters in the diverse fields, and so on. Of the few books available, most dealt with the classical Indian theatre. Some included later history in such a broad manner that the modern period got only a chapter or two, and hardly anything about the contemporary scenario. My keenness to know was sharpened by my awareness that, as a part of the Movement searching for a new identity of Indian theatre, a lot had been done practically all over India. Of course, now and then, one did come across an occasional article in some newspaper on trends in general or about a great writer/director, but being invariably sketchy journalistic pieces, these served more as appetizers than as fare proper. In the 1990s, even such opportunities became rare because the space for culture got hogged up by films, fashions and fads.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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