|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
Semester and Year Offered: II & IV
Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Vikram Singh Thakur
Email of course coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-requisites: Knowledge of functional Hindi
The course has been designed to introduce students of literature to modern Indian drama and theatre. The course very roughly identifies four important periods in the history of modern Indian drama and theatre. It begins by looking at the colonial modernity brought by the British theatre into India and its impact on the evolution of modern Indian drama and theatre. The early Indian theatre in a sense can be called ‘imitative’ as it tried to follow the models provided by the British theatre. This was gradually replaced by plays written in Indian languages. The last thirty years or so of the 19th century witnessed commercial theatres in India which gave rise to syncretic or hybrid theatre. Parsi theatre of Bombay is a classic example of commercial theatre that blended the Western and Indian theatrical and dramatic forms. However, by the 1930s, in the wake of high nationalism, one finds social drama and political theatre promoted by IPTA replacing the drama and theatre which were hitherto meant primarily for entertainment. After its disbandment the spirit and politics of IPTA was carried out by various individuals and theatre groups in India like Utpal Dutt and Jan Natya Manch. Also, in the wake of decolonisation, theatre in post-colonial gained a new direction where focus was on Indian history, myth, folk and tradition in addition to realism practised by many playwrights. The course thus engages with these four periods and looks at critical junctures in the history of modern theatre in India.
Course Outcomes: By the end of the course students would be able to:
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
MODULE 1: THE BEGINNINGS
This module introduces students to Indian drama and theatre – both ancient and modern. This will largely survey a brief history of drama in India covering classical Sanskrit drama, folk theatres, colonial theatres in India including the popular Parsi theatre and post-Independence theatre in India. The module will also discuss in detail one play written during the colonial period to understand modern drama as it originated during the 19th century India.
MODULE 2: POPULAR THEATRES
This module will look at the popular theatres in India during the colonial period. The module focusses on Parsi theatre from 1850s to 1920s and its legacy. Through various critical readings, biographies and documentaries students will be familiarised with Parsi theatre. Towrds the end of the module a play by Agha Hashr Kashmiri will be discussed in detail to understand the structure, form and performative aspects of a typical Parsi drama.
MODULE 3: INDIAN PEOPLE’S THEATRE ASSOCIATION AND ITS LEGACY
This module will familiarise students with IPTA which played a crucial cultural role during and after the Indian independence. The module will take into account various artists, playwrights and plays that belong to IPTA. Students will engage not only with critical readings on IPTA but also discuss a play in great detail to understand IPTA’s commitment to the social and cultural causes. Students will also be familiarised with cultural organisations like Jan Natya Manch which were inspired by IPTA.
MODULE 4: RE-INVENTING THE SELF: THE POST-INDEPENDENCE THEATRE
This module introduces students to post-Independence theatre in India. The idea is to look at historical debates surrounding Indian theatre post-1947. How did Indian theatre makers envisage a theatre that would reflect “Indianness”. Efforts went into decolonising theatre and towards that end there was focus on Indian history, mythology, folk and traditional arts to create contemporary theatre. The module would familiarise students with such issues and discuss one play in detail.
Proposed Online Assessment Structure:
Assessment Situation No.
Description and remarks (if any)
Tentative date of assessment
Assessment situation 1
Assessment situation 2
End of the semester
Assessment situation 3
Mid semester exam