Gallery of Misery!
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The major concern of the Indian theatre in the Post-Independence period has been to try to define its “Indianness” and to relate itself  to the past from which it was cut off. Several revival theatres grew and developed. After 1960, Indian theatres took a new turn. As noted by Pundalik Naik in his paper presented at Sahitya Academy Seminar at New  Delhi, the Indian theatre has been influenced by Brecht. His techniques of play production being very close to the production techniques of Indian folk theatre,  he was quickly accepted. He was found meaningful for the Indian folk theatre. The narrative technique of the folk theatre --- Sutradhar and his chorus --- returned meaningfully, so also dance and music. The drama was more or less freed from the tyranny of proscenium theatre and the performers and the audience once again started breathing freely. As the Indian theatre started looking out at theatre activity all around. Sartre, Camu, Becket and a host  other dramatists inspired Indian theatre people. Their influences were Assimilated in a meaningful way.
The beginning of 1960’s saw Mohan Rakesh bursting on the Indian theatre scene with his play Ashadha Ka Ek Din and Dharmaveer Bharati with his Andha Yug. In this play, audience saw the reflection of the contemporary world Adhe Adhure  by Mohan Rakesh explored the complex world of human emotions in clash with the hard realities of life. The play was translated in the Indian  languages and created a new awareness. Shombhu Mitra was active with his Tagore plays in Bengal. Badal Sircar with his plays Baki Itihas, Pagla Ghoda  came with a new kind of sensibility. Girish Karnad  with his plays in Kanada  Yayati, Tughlaq and Hayavadan made his mark in the Indian theatre.
Vijay Tendulkar made a very significant contribution to  Indian theatre by his Marathi play – Shantata Court Chalu Ahe. His plays – Sakharam Binder, Gidhade and his most important play Gashiram Kotwal  are studies in sex and violence inherent in human nature in subdued  or pronounced  form. His candid exposition of bold themes gave new dimension to Indian theatre.
Jabbar Patel who directed the play Ghashiram Kotwal  used various Marathi folk theatre forms while staging this play. The trend of using folk theatre forms was well established by Habib Tanvir through his play Mitti Ki Gadi. In Karnataka Chandrashekhar Kambar used folk forms in his play. Use of folk theatrical forms by contemporary writers  and direction has given rise to a powerful trend. In the words of M. L. Varadpande, “ this emerging trend is termed as the theatre of roots.”
In Maharashtra the dramatist have been portraying the agonies of the oppressed. This is evident in the plays of 1970’s. The theatre in Maharashtra  has made a tremendous influence on the contemporary Konkani theatre.
The traditional Marathi theatre in Goa while enriching the knowledge of the Goan playwrights strengthened their understanding of drama in its full-fledged form. The Mochemadkar & Co. presented  Marathi drama with the mixture of Konkani language. Such an understanding coupled with lucid expression in mother-tongue Konkani nurtured Konkani theatre. One cannot but acknowledge  the subtle, yet tremendous contribution  of the Marathi drama for the prosperity and pride of the Konkani stage.

By Dr. Sandhya M Bhandare Sequeira
(Shikshak Bhushan Award Winner)


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