Contemporary Indian Drama

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSUS1EN2444

Course Coordinator and Team: Vikram Singh Thakur
Email of course coordinator: vikram[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in
Pre-requisites: None
Aim: The course is designed to introduce students to various issues involved incontemporary Indian drama. Along with the study of plays the students will also be introduced to various dramatic traditions of India in which these plays are located. This will help students in contextualizing contemporary Indian drama and appreciate it in a nuanced and critical manner. Students will also be encouraged to focus on dramatic traditions other than the ones covered in the course in the form of presentations. By the end of the course the  students will have a fair amount of idea about ten to twelve contemporary Indian dramatists. The course will introduce students to: realism in postIndependence drama, the employment of folk and traditional idioms in urban drama, politics of caste and gender, revisiting history and mythology and political drama.

The following plays will be taken up for detailed study in class:

  • Vijay Tendulkar, Shantata! Court ChaluAhe (Silence! The Court is in Session)
  • HabibTanvir, CharandasChor (Charandas the Thief) GirishKarnad,
  • Tughlaq Kusum Kumar, SunoShefali (Listen Shefali) UtpalDutt,
  • Mahavidroha (The Great Rebellion 1857)

Some of the following plays will be taken up for class presentations by students:

  • DharamvirBharati, AndhaYug(The Blind Epoch)
  • Mohan Rakesh, AdheAdhure (Halfway House/The Unfinished)
  • Mahesh Elkunchwar, Atmakatha (Autobiography)
  • ManjulaPadmanabhan, Harvest
  • ChandrashekharKambar, Jokumaraswami
  • BadalSircar, Michil (Procession)/Bhoma
  • Mahashweta Devi, Mother of 1084
  • Indira Parthasarthy, Aurangzeb
  • G P Deshpande, UdhwasthaDharmashala(A Man in Dark Times)
  • Mahesh Dattani, Thirty Days in September

Supplementary Readings:

  • Awasthi, Suresh. “‘Theatre of Roots’: Encounter with Tradition”. The Drama Reviewv33.4 (1989).
  • Bharucha, Rustom. “The Revolutionary Theatre of UtpalDutt”. Rehearsals of vRevolution: the Political Theatre of Bengal. Calcutta: Seagull, 1983.
  • Dharwadker, Aparna. “Realism and the Edifice of Home”.Theatres ofvIndependence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947, New Delhi: OUP, 2006.
  • _______________. “Alternative Satges: Antirealism, Gender, and Contemporary “Folk Theatre”” Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947, New Delhi: OUP, 2006.
  • _______________. “The Ironic History of the Nation”.Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947, New Delhi: OUP, 2006.
  • Gunawardana, A. J. Interview with UtpalDutt. “Theatre as a Weapon: An Interview withUtpalDutt”. The Drama Review, 15. 2, (Spring, 1971).
  • Mee, Erin B. “Introduction”. Theatre of Roots: Redirecting the Modern Indian Stage. Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2008.