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Books > Performing Arts > Theatre > HISTORY OF GUJARATI THEATRE
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HISTORY OF GUJARATI THEATRE
HISTORY OF GUJARATI THEATRE
Description
About the Book

This work reviews and analyzes from a fresh angle the stage by stage chronicle of theatre art, theatrical trends, actor directors, playwrights as well as theatre personalities active in the history of theatre during last century and half of Gujarati literature. That is what distinguishes this work from a history of literary theatre. The work also includes an elaborate feature about Bhavai, the traditional (folk) theatre, and the pioneering endeavour of Parsi community for the inception of theatre in its own tongue as well as in Gujarati. This is a very informative delineation of the emphatic impact made by politics, society, literature and theatre on one another.

About the Author

Hasmukh Baradi is associated with Gujarat Amateur Theatre for the last two decades. He has written plays as well as essay on theatre topics. He has also been in the forefront of the folk-oriented activity of street-play. During the period between 1990 and 1992, he was a Senior Fellow at the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of India. Professionally, he has devoted two decades of his career to production of TV programmes, one and spent considerable time for imparting media training. He has visited Russia, Germany, England, Poland, Bulgaria and Malaysia to acquaint himself with the direction techniques employed in the theatre and TV programmes in those countries. Noteworthy among his work are 'Natak Sarikho Nadar Hunnar' [An exquisite craft like theatre] and Janardan Joseph (a play)

Contents

      Preface
      Translator's Note
    Chapter 1: Pre-Tradition
      Folk-centred Theater Forms, Cachar, Bhavai Vesh (Bhavai Skits), A Chronicle of the Sansrit Tradition, Jain Literature, Bhavai Today.
    Chapter 2: 'Old Theatre-Phase One: Formation of various group (1842-1878):
      Background, Early English Theatres, Jagannath Shankar Sheth, Parsis, The Process of Formation of Various Group, A Parallel Stream of Original Play, On the Threshold of the New Phase.
    Chapter 3: 'Old' Theate-Phase Two: The Owner- Playwright (1878-1898):
      The Surge of Reformative Attitude, Ranchhod-ray Udayram, Dahya-bhai Dholashaji, Oza Brothers, Manilal Nabhu-Bhai Dwivedi, Plays Stage Under Bowers, Ideals and Reality.
    Chapter 4: 'Old' Theatre-Phase Three: Actor Dominance (1898-1913):
      Transition into the Twentieth Century, Actor Dominance, Amrut Keshava Nayak, Bapulal Nayak, Pransukh 'Adipolo', Mohanlala, Master Ashrafkhan, Prabhashankar 'Ramani', Jayshankar 'Sundari';
      Phase Four: Struggle of Playwrights (1913-1923):
      Funlchand 'Master', Mulshankar Mulani, Nrusinh Vibhakar, Jaman, Severance of the Relationship between Playwright and theatre;
      Phase Five: Main Actor-Director (1923-1939):
      Bapulal Nayak, Mulchand-Mama, Master Kasam, Miss Moti-bai, Master Vasant, At the Transition Point Between the Phase, 'Rehearsal Master'.
    Chapter 5: 'Old' Theatre-Phase Six: Owners and Moneylenders (1939-1953):
      Owners-Moneylenders, Theatre Stage Shifted to the Cities of Gujarat; Invasion by Cinema; Poet Vairati, Poet Trapajkar, Prafulla Desai, Nandlal Shah, Pragji Dosa, Raghunath Brahma-bhatt (The Poet of Passion), Prabhulal Dwivedi, 'Pagal', Music Makers, Centenary Celebrations;
      Phase Seven: Travelling Theatre Groups (1953-)
      Performances in Villages and Towns, Improvised Theatres Once Again, One Hundred and Fifty Years later.
    Chapter 6: 'New' Theatre Activity-Phase One: Activities Based on Actor and Festivities: (1922-1939):
      The Players' Act, Chandravadan Mehta, The Crusade, Kaniyalal Munshi, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Rnagbhoomi Parishad.
    Chapter 7: 'New' Theatre Activity-Phase Two: Formation Theatre Groups (1939-1949):
      The Appeal for an Actors' House, Theatre Group, Rang -Mandal, IPTA, Javanika, I.N.T., Adi Maraban, Pratap Oza, At the Junction of the Phases.
    Chapter 8: 'New' Theatre Activity- Phase Three: Director Dominance (1949-1960):
      At the High Noon of the Century, 'Sundari', Natya-Vidya Mandir; Nat-Mandal, Jashvant Thakar, Bharat Natya-Pith; From Narmada to Nat-Samrat; Pransukh Nayak, Rangbhoomi, Centernary Celebnration; Theatre Training Institutions; Original Play-writing.
    Chapter 9: 'New' Theatre Activity- Phase Four: Actor-Proprietor Dominance (1960-1990):
      I.N.T. - Pravin Joshi and Sarita: Nila Theatres; Bahurupi; Natya-Sampada - Kanti Madiya; Adi Marzban; Pratap Oza, Vishnukumar Vyas; Madhukar Randeriya; Dina Pathak, Vanlata Mehta, Tarala Mehta, Usha Malji; Parallel Gujarati Theatre of Ahmedabad - Darpan, Triveni, Other Cities of Gujarat; 'Absurd' (1996); Akanth (1972), The SubPhase of Playwright-Producer (1980); The Quest for Director.
    Chapter 10: One-Act Play (1871-1990):
      Tracking the Footprints; Stageability (1870-1921)- Parsis, Appendages; Literature-oriented New One-act Play (1922-1930) - Batu-bhai Umarwadiya, Yashwant Pandya, Pranjivan Pathak; The Poets' One-act Play - Umashankar Joshi, Krushnalal Shridharani; Socially Disposed Play-Writing (1940-1950) - Radio, Jayanti Dalal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, One-act Play Competitions; the Second Sub-Phase of StageableOne-act Plays (1951-1966)-Chunilal Madiya, Shivkumar Joshi, Prabodh Joshi, Drawing-room Theatre, Param-Pravasi; 'Absurd' (1966-1971) - Reverberations over Five Year,Akanth Sabarmati; The Sub-Phase of Stylization (1971-1980) - Devotion to Theatre, After One Hundred and Twenty-five Years.
    Chapter11: Miscellanea
    About the Graph of the Parallels
    Important Sources of References
    Index : Concepts and Processes
    Index : Nouns

HISTORY OF GUJARATI THEATRE

Item Code:
IDD755
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2003
Publisher:
ISBN:
8123740328
Language:
English
Size:
8.5" X 5.5"
Pages:
297 (B & W Illus: 24)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 406 gms
Price:
$16.50   Shipping Free
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About the Book

This work reviews and analyzes from a fresh angle the stage by stage chronicle of theatre art, theatrical trends, actor directors, playwrights as well as theatre personalities active in the history of theatre during last century and half of Gujarati literature. That is what distinguishes this work from a history of literary theatre. The work also includes an elaborate feature about Bhavai, the traditional (folk) theatre, and the pioneering endeavour of Parsi community for the inception of theatre in its own tongue as well as in Gujarati. This is a very informative delineation of the emphatic impact made by politics, society, literature and theatre on one another.

About the Author

Hasmukh Baradi is associated with Gujarat Amateur Theatre for the last two decades. He has written plays as well as essay on theatre topics. He has also been in the forefront of the folk-oriented activity of street-play. During the period between 1990 and 1992, he was a Senior Fellow at the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of India. Professionally, he has devoted two decades of his career to production of TV programmes, one and spent considerable time for imparting media training. He has visited Russia, Germany, England, Poland, Bulgaria and Malaysia to acquaint himself with the direction techniques employed in the theatre and TV programmes in those countries. Noteworthy among his work are 'Natak Sarikho Nadar Hunnar' [An exquisite craft like theatre] and Janardan Joseph (a play)

Contents

      Preface
      Translator's Note
    Chapter 1: Pre-Tradition
      Folk-centred Theater Forms, Cachar, Bhavai Vesh (Bhavai Skits), A Chronicle of the Sansrit Tradition, Jain Literature, Bhavai Today.
    Chapter 2: 'Old Theatre-Phase One: Formation of various group (1842-1878):
      Background, Early English Theatres, Jagannath Shankar Sheth, Parsis, The Process of Formation of Various Group, A Parallel Stream of Original Play, On the Threshold of the New Phase.
    Chapter 3: 'Old' Theate-Phase Two: The Owner- Playwright (1878-1898):
      The Surge of Reformative Attitude, Ranchhod-ray Udayram, Dahya-bhai Dholashaji, Oza Brothers, Manilal Nabhu-Bhai Dwivedi, Plays Stage Under Bowers, Ideals and Reality.
    Chapter 4: 'Old' Theatre-Phase Three: Actor Dominance (1898-1913):
      Transition into the Twentieth Century, Actor Dominance, Amrut Keshava Nayak, Bapulal Nayak, Pransukh 'Adipolo', Mohanlala, Master Ashrafkhan, Prabhashankar 'Ramani', Jayshankar 'Sundari';
      Phase Four: Struggle of Playwrights (1913-1923):
      Funlchand 'Master', Mulshankar Mulani, Nrusinh Vibhakar, Jaman, Severance of the Relationship between Playwright and theatre;
      Phase Five: Main Actor-Director (1923-1939):
      Bapulal Nayak, Mulchand-Mama, Master Kasam, Miss Moti-bai, Master Vasant, At the Transition Point Between the Phase, 'Rehearsal Master'.
    Chapter 5: 'Old' Theatre-Phase Six: Owners and Moneylenders (1939-1953):
      Owners-Moneylenders, Theatre Stage Shifted to the Cities of Gujarat; Invasion by Cinema; Poet Vairati, Poet Trapajkar, Prafulla Desai, Nandlal Shah, Pragji Dosa, Raghunath Brahma-bhatt (The Poet of Passion), Prabhulal Dwivedi, 'Pagal', Music Makers, Centenary Celebrations;
      Phase Seven: Travelling Theatre Groups (1953-)
      Performances in Villages and Towns, Improvised Theatres Once Again, One Hundred and Fifty Years later.
    Chapter 6: 'New' Theatre Activity-Phase One: Activities Based on Actor and Festivities: (1922-1939):
      The Players' Act, Chandravadan Mehta, The Crusade, Kaniyalal Munshi, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Rnagbhoomi Parishad.
    Chapter 7: 'New' Theatre Activity-Phase Two: Formation Theatre Groups (1939-1949):
      The Appeal for an Actors' House, Theatre Group, Rang -Mandal, IPTA, Javanika, I.N.T., Adi Maraban, Pratap Oza, At the Junction of the Phases.
    Chapter 8: 'New' Theatre Activity- Phase Three: Director Dominance (1949-1960):
      At the High Noon of the Century, 'Sundari', Natya-Vidya Mandir; Nat-Mandal, Jashvant Thakar, Bharat Natya-Pith; From Narmada to Nat-Samrat; Pransukh Nayak, Rangbhoomi, Centernary Celebnration; Theatre Training Institutions; Original Play-writing.
    Chapter 9: 'New' Theatre Activity- Phase Four: Actor-Proprietor Dominance (1960-1990):
      I.N.T. - Pravin Joshi and Sarita: Nila Theatres; Bahurupi; Natya-Sampada - Kanti Madiya; Adi Marzban; Pratap Oza, Vishnukumar Vyas; Madhukar Randeriya; Dina Pathak, Vanlata Mehta, Tarala Mehta, Usha Malji; Parallel Gujarati Theatre of Ahmedabad - Darpan, Triveni, Other Cities of Gujarat; 'Absurd' (1996); Akanth (1972), The SubPhase of Playwright-Producer (1980); The Quest for Director.
    Chapter 10: One-Act Play (1871-1990):
      Tracking the Footprints; Stageability (1870-1921)- Parsis, Appendages; Literature-oriented New One-act Play (1922-1930) - Batu-bhai Umarwadiya, Yashwant Pandya, Pranjivan Pathak; The Poets' One-act Play - Umashankar Joshi, Krushnalal Shridharani; Socially Disposed Play-Writing (1940-1950) - Radio, Jayanti Dalal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, One-act Play Competitions; the Second Sub-Phase of StageableOne-act Plays (1951-1966)-Chunilal Madiya, Shivkumar Joshi, Prabodh Joshi, Drawing-room Theatre, Param-Pravasi; 'Absurd' (1966-1971) - Reverberations over Five Year,Akanth Sabarmati; The Sub-Phase of Stylization (1971-1980) - Devotion to Theatre, After One Hundred and Twenty-five Years.
    Chapter11: Miscellanea
    About the Graph of the Parallels
    Important Sources of References
    Index : Concepts and Processes
    Index : Nouns
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Post Review
  • I am much troubled by the errors of fact, incomplete information and blatant omissions in the English and Gujarati versions of Mr. Baradi’s History of Gujarati Theatre.



    Mr. Baradi does not provide any citations for the information presented in this book. This History of Gujarati Theatre is full of errors and questionable English translation.



    As the sourcing or citation for information presented in the History of Gujarati Theatre is completely absent there is no way for a reader to verify any statement in this history for its accuracy. There are no in-text citations in this book. This has made the listing of reference books at the end of the history of Gujarati theatre is meaningless.



    All page numbers below refer to History of Gujarati Theatre by Hasmukh Baradi, English Translation by Vinod Meghani.



    In this history on – page 20 - Mr. Baradi has described Mr. Jaggannath Shankar Sheth as a Gujarati entrepreneur. Mr. Shankar Sheth was a Maharashtrian businessman and a philanthropist.



    Young actor Amrit Keshav Nayak did not go on his own to Lucknow as Mr. Baradi states on page 58.



    Greenroom Techniques (on page 176). Mr. Baradi does not know the function of greenrooms in theatres. He maintains that production technology – light, sound etc. is operated from greenrooms.



    Mr. Baradi states that in 1963 Pravin Joshi’s first directorial venture was, Mogra-na Sap. Also in 1963, and he begged six awards in the (Mumbai) State Drama Competition...



    This is not true. Pravin Joshi’s first directorial venture after joining INT was Kumar Asambhavam, a Gujarati version of Ravindranath Tagore’s Chirkumar Sabha.



    Pravin Joshi was in no way near when Sona Vatakadi was staged by the INT at Ranga Bhavan and Pravin Joshi did not direct that play or Mansukh Joshi’s Jesal Toral as Mr. Baradi has asserted in his book.



    On page 169 there is a paragraph devoted to Nila Theatres and its founder Jagdish Shah where Mr. Baradi states that ‘ in Pattani Jod by Prabodh Joshi, Jagdish Shah, ‘…then only eighteen, had played the role of the aged grandfather’. Jagdish Shah started his Nila Theatres when he was in his late 20s.



    Mr. Adi Marzban, the icon of Parsi/Gujarati and English theatre in the post independent India is very tardily described in this book of history. Mr. Baradi has published a joke that Mr. Marzban was fond of retelling as a fact.



    The fact that Mr. C. C. Mehta, Mr. Adi Marzban and Mr. Upendra Trivedi were honored with a Padma Shree as well as contributions of Upendra Trivedi and Arvind Trivedi to Gujarati theatre goes unnoticed in this history.



    Radio Plays:



    The unsurpassed king of the radio-play, Barkat Virani does not find even a mention in this history of Gujarati theatre. Tarak Mehta was awarded first prize for writing the radio-play Dayaram in an AIR (Bombay) sponsored competition. Similarly radio plays by Gulabdas Broker, Pratap Sangani, Bhal Malji, poet Shayda and many others do not find place in this book.



    Mr. Baradi seems to think that the award winning scenic designers Chel Paresh is one person. They appear as Chelparesh in Mr. Baradi’s history (page 214) book, including the index at the end of the book.



    Naran Mistry (pages 143,168, 176 and 214) was associated with Rangabhoomi, Bombay and not with INT as historian Mr. Hasmukh Baradi has repeatedly asserted in his version of history of Gujarati theatre!



    The Gujarati Theatre activities in post independent India, particularly in Bombay is missing in Mr. Baradi’s History of Gujarati Theatre.



    Mr. Baradi calls Franz Kafka a German author (page 238). Kafka was from Austria.



    An Index to the History of Gujarati Theatre that starts on page 247 is divided in to what could be gently called unusual categories.



    Mr. Baradi equates the length of time spent for rehearsing a particular play with the quality of production of that play (page 177).

    The time devoted or allotted for rehearsals varies from a theatre group to a theatre group and from play to play.



    The names of many a great writers and actors of the Gujarati Theatre do not appear in this mamoth work. Dhansukhlal Mehta whoes play Rangilo Rajja was the very first play of the modern Gujarati theatre to have more than one-hundred performances to its credit or Babubhai Bhukhanwala whoes plays were performed by INT and other theatre groups or Madhukar Randeria and many more do not find any mention in this history. Pravin Joshi’s younger brother a noted writer, director and actor also is missing from this history.



    Baradi’s sweeping generalizations not withstanding, not all the Gujarati plays – over one thousand plays -are based on translations from English or any other languages.



    Baradi does not mention any of the male actors who successfully played female roles other than Mr. Jayshankar Bhojak – Sundari.



    Baradi does not consider Parsi actors and actresses contributions to the theatre just because they were Parsis, even though they spoke and acted in Parsi Gujarati, English and Urdu plays. According to Parsi Natak Takhta Ni Tawarikh one of the early Gujarati play Karan Ghelo was produced and staged by a Parsi theatre enthusiast Koonvarji Nazar. Faramjee Appu played the role of Karan Ghelo. One of the earliest Gujarati play Gulab by Nagindas Marfatia and plays by poet Narmad were commissioned by Kekhashru Kabrajee.



    Bahmanjee Navrojee Kabrajee – a great Parsi writer of the time wrote such successful plays as Joogar, Bahera Bahel Kaka, Bholi Gool, Bhoolo Padelo Bhoolbhai, Baapna Shraap… yes, all the plays in Parsi Gujarati. The play Rustom Sohrab was also writeen in Parsi Gujarati. Mr. Baradi has not given due credit to the pioneers of the Parsi/Gujarati theatre.



    The National Book Trust has sold or donated the English translation History of Gujarati Theatre to many libraries in the Unites States as well as across the world. Now all the readers across the globe of this questionable history of Gujarati theatre would unknowingly learn only half-truths and omissions from Mr. Baradi!



    (For a copy of the full review write to Harish Trivedi at indiafound@earthlink.net)
    by Harish Trivedi on 20th Jun 2009
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