The Drama of Our Times

Theatre in India continues to be a neglected stepchild of the arts

01 March 2010

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, the more they remain the same. At least, the problems of theatre in India do (I refrain from using the monolithic term ‘Indian theatre’). The most significant of its challenges are finding institutional sources of funding and discovering original playwriting.

Not that these are new problems. As long ago as 1956, the great actor-director Shambhu Mitra had said:

How long do you believe we can pull on without a morsel to eat and without a shelter to live in? We are ready to work as professionals, we have qualified ourselves to be such. We believe that theatregoers will see that we live and flourish. But how and where may we show them our mettle and to get from them in exchange our requirements? We need a house of our own.

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    Keywords: political theatre Indian Theatre Prithvi Theatre Naya Theatre Habib Tanvir Shambhu Mitra NSD Kalakshetra Manipur Sudhanva Deshpande