Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Stage - Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India

I am glad to share the news of release of a book which really discusses, trying to theorize, critique, and lament on the state of theatre practice in India. This is an off-shoot of a seminar that was called ’Not-the-Drama-Seminar’ held at Ninasam, Heggodu, Karnataka  in March 2008, organized by The India Theatre Forum. The book summarizes what all were the ‘happenings’, discourses, ‘performances’, monologues and dialogues at the event. Flipping through the pages of the book I could revisit all the passion, heat, dust and the words/faces of people/characters, theatre activists/theoreticians I could meet/glance/view/see in the event. And I remember the warmth of the whole locale and the near ones with whom there were long discussions that were not echoed aloud to a camera or a recorder. I remember that the event clarified my position in/of theatre further, and was revitalized.

A note on the book is added below. You can read my arguments in the response to the session ‘Assertions’



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 street corner, 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 under-theorized.
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.

rajarajeshwari, revathy, bandhu prasad, indira chandrasekhar

Edited by Sudhanva Deshpande (of Leftword and Jana Natya Manch, Delhi), Akshara K (of Akshara Prakashana, a prominent Kannada publishing house) and Sameera Iyengar (a Ph.D focusing on theatre in India from the University of Chicago, and Director Projects, Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai), the book has contributions from Aijaz Ahmad, Akshara K. V., Amitesh Grover, Anmol Vellani, Aparna Dharwadker, Chandradasan, Channakeshava, Dakxin Bajrange, Devi, Ekbal Ahmed, G. P. Deshpande, Gopal Guru, Koushik Sen, Makarand Sathe, Moloyashree Hashmi, Prabir Purkayastha, Pralayan, Ram Bapat, S. Raghunandana, S. Ramanujan, Sadanand Menon, Sanjoy Ganguly, Shanta Gokhale, Shiv Visvanathan, Shyamala Vanarase, Siddharth Narrain, Sudhanva Deshpande, Sundar Sarukkai, Sushma Deshpande, Vikram Iyengar, and Vivek Shanbhag.

with jehan manekshaw at ninasam


  • Paperback : 236 pages
  • Author/Editor : Sudhanva Deshpande, Akshara K. V. and Sameera Iyengar
  • Year of Publication : 2009
  • Publisher : Tulika Books, New Delhi
  • Language : English
  • Product Dimension : 9.5 x 6.25 inches
  • Shipping Weight : 500
  • ISBN Number : 9788189487614
  • Price : Rs 350

The book is available at, and that the url for the book page is

The photos are moments from the seminar…..

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Blogger UPAL said...

Hi Chandra,thanx...I'll soon get that book...Might review it once I lay my hand on that...I'll be happy to read your contribution!

November 19, 2009 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Chandradasan said...

I am glad that u review it...where u plan to publish the review? please let me know...I like to have a copy published in my blog too

November 19, 2009 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Sapna Anu B.George said...

Great concept and do let me know where you will get the book in Kerala as I am off to my holiday in Kerala next week, will be happy to read your contribution and keep the book in my coollection.

November 20, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger മഷിത്തണ്ട് said...

good piece of information.

try to get one copy


November 20, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Deise Puga said...

Hi Chandra,

My best wishes for success!
Congratulations on another important contribution!

Deise Puga

November 20, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous gireeshmenon said...


November 20, 2009 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Chandradasan said...

Thanks all....
The book is just out...and you may get it at Book port at ernakulam...opposite savita..may be in a week time...Tulika is a popular publisher and there books are available in almost all bookshops that sell English titles

November 20, 2009 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Padma said...

will get a chance to look at it in Chennai soon...

November 28, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

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