Monday, June 25, 2007

Theatre In India

I went to watch a production last night. Apparently, it was a Hindi adaptation of plays inspired by the stories of Chekov. Anyway, even though the production was good, the details are not of concern to us. That production awakened in me the very important realisation of what theatre needs in India and where it is headed.

Theatre today ails from a lack of serious talent. Most people who participate in theatre are doing it because it is cool to be in college and do theatre. There are some people, however, who do it seriously as a hobby. My favourites are the 40-something executives of big companies. They bring in such an old-school view to theatre and its execution that all the hot-headed teenagers who think that theatre is their domain should actually take a step behind and observe innocent mastery executing its genius. Amateurs are welcome, but it's only to break them into the world of theatre, gently. To guide such amateurs requires a director of tremendous understanding, vision and talent.

Another thing of great importance is the Indianisation of plays. Make it real and relatable to the audience, else you'll just end up with an audience filled with Eng. Lit. Now for this, you require a scriptwriter with great talent. The essence of the original has to remain, but the form of delivery which the audience consumes must be different from the original. Watch Vishal Bharadwaj and be amazed at his masterstrokes in converting Macbeth to Maqbool and Othello to Omkara. Theatre needs that.

1 comment:

UnApologetic Confessions said...

Hi Venky

I share sentiments with you regarding "I am into Theatre so I am cool" attitude of yuppies. What i feel is this, that there is not enough exposure to the real aspect of theatre which lies in reading and appreciating drama. More and more young ones are drawn to the apparent feeling that theatre spells out as "Freedom". The assumption is correct but the expression of this freesom is wrong; thus people adorn the stage without the necessary body language required for the expression.
And Yes I agree that the "4o"'s lot does a lot of meaningful theatre because for them theatre is the expression of their creativity. Sigh. and sad neither you or I am 40!