Modern Indian Theatre
Modern Indian Theatre - Overview
The modern Indian theatre was brought about by the change of the political set up in the country. The Indian theatrical culture was influenced by the British rule in India. During those 200 years of the British rule in the country, the western theatre was brought into direct contact with the Indian theatre and this direct influence gave birth to the modern Indian theatre.
History of Modern Indian Theatre
The modern Indian theatre was born in the 18th century when Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were directly brought under the British rule. The modern Indian theatres were becoming increasingly popular in the cities of Calcutta (now Kolkata), Madras (now Chennai) and Bombay (now Mumbai). Their theatres were based on London models.
The main idea of the British behind introducing modern theatre in India was to entertain the British soldiers and the citizens for acclimatizing themselves to a foreign country like India. Also, for the first time in India, the practice of writing and theatre was running full fledged and the presentation was much more realistic or naturalistic. There was also a drastic change in the themes. The ancient theatres mainly depicted the lives of heroes and gods whereas the modern Indian theatre portrayed the life of common man.
Languages of Modern Indian Theatre
Initially the modern Indian theatres were mainly in Marathi, Bengali and Tamil. Gradually people started to write plays in other languages also, like Oriya, Gujarati, Kannada, Urdu Hindi and English.
Modern Indian Theatre - Types
Modern Indian theatre can be categorized into the following types:
Most of the modern Indian theatres can be grouped under the amateur category. This is the kind of theatre where the participants do not expect to earn money. This kind of theatre is very high in Kolkata.
Experimental theatre is similar to amateur theatre but differs in the objectives and approach in the production of plays. Kolkata is one of the most popular centers for experimental theatre in India.
Theatre Organizations in India
Some of the popular theatre organizations in India are:
- Indian National Theatre
- Bombay theatre
- Prithvi Theatre