Indian Theatre

Course Number: 
HUL 335
LTP structure: 


Any TWO courses from HUL2XX category
Allocation Preferences: HUL231, HUL232, HUL235, HUL236, HUL237, HUL240,

Course Objective

To introduce students to the various periods of development of Indian theatre and the different sources of influence. The course will pay close attention to the interaction between the traditional and the contemporary. Through a close study of the written and performance texts the students will explore the various styles of Indian theatre and its major concerns.


Course Content

This course will study the various aspects of Indian theatre. The linkages between ancient theatre forms and existing forms of indigenous performance in various parts of India - such as the nautanki, the tamasha and the jatra. The energies which were generated in the urban centres through the encounter with European drama - the Parsi theatre, the nascent Marathi stage, the Hindi theatre of Bhartendu Harishchandra and the nationalist theatre of Calcutta -will be explored. Special attention would be paid to the transformation of theatre values with the intervention of the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA). The focus for the post-Independence period would be on the diverse energies of urban theatre, group theatre and the 'back to the roots' movement. The course would require students to study play-scripts as well as look at accompanying literature to form a concrete idea of the philosophy behind Indian theatrical practice.

Suggested Reading List

Dinabandhu Mitra, Nil darpan or, the Indigo planting mirror (Lee Press, 2008).

Kathryn Hansen, Grounds for Play: The Nautanki Theatre of North India (University of California Press, 1991).

Somnath Gupt, Kathryn Hansen trans. and ed. The Parsi Theatre (Seagull, 2005).

Mahesh Dattani, Collected plays: Screen, stage and radio plays (Penguin, 2005).

Mahesh Elkunchwar, Collected Plays (Oxford UP, 2008).

The information provided here may not be updated. Please check UG/PG section for updated course offering data.