Our Stage: Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India

edited by Sudhanva Deshpande, Akshara K. V. and Sameera Iyengar

November 2009

9.5 x 7.25 inches

236 pages

Paperback

ISBN: 978-81-89487-61-4

Rs 350

Theatre practice in India is like the country itself—vast, diverse, pulsating. Theatre in India happens anywhere and everywhere—in badly designed auditoria, in schools and colleges, in parks and gardens, in restaurants, on rooftops, in the open fields, on the streetcorner, and even, sometimes, on moving trains. At times, it gives pure delight and touches aesthetic peaks, at others, it is brazen, rude, outspoken, blunt—or both simultaneously.

And yet, surprisingly, the actual practice of theatre in India—beyond the work of this or that practitioner remains vastly undertheorized.

In OUR STAGE: Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice In India, leading theatre practitioners, administrators and scholars, social scientists and activists interrogate theatre practice in India around the themes Locales, Experiments, Assertions, Pathologies, New Realities, and Training Institutions. They also interrogate the implicit and explicit premises and projections of the 1956 Drama Seminar. Together, they give a fascinating insight on how theatre happens in India, as well on the most important issues animating this practice.

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Sudhanva Deshpande is an actor and director with Jana Natya Manch, Delhi. He has taught at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and the A. J. K. Mass Communication Research Centre, Jami Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He works as an editor with LeftWord Books.

Akshara K. V. got theatre training at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, and MA in theatre arts from the Workshop Theatre, University of Leeds, UK. He is associated with Ninasam group of organizations as a teacher, theatre director and administrator. He also heads Akshara Prakashana, a prominent Kannada publishing house.

Sameera Iyengar graduated from the Massachusettrs Institute of Technology, Cambridge (MA) in Mathematics, and got a Ph.D focusing on theatre in India from the University of Chicago, USA. She worked for a short while with Seagull Theatre Quarterly. She is Director Projects, Prithvi Theatre.