Weaving tales of misery, misguided passions and the vagaries of emotion with drama; theatre always aroused both fascination and curiosity in us.
As a powerful language of expression, it has often explored the connection of raw emotions to drama.
As Antonin Artaud, a French playwright and theatre director, rightly said, “The theatre, which is in no thing but makes use of everything — gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness — rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations.
To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.” In an attempt to rediscover and reinvent this art form, the city’s theatre fraternity have constantly experimented with diverse styles, ranging from modern to a v a n t garde.
With more and more playwrights putting out compelling and original works today, theatre has reached new heights of creativity in Bangalore.
City Express talks to a few people who have dedicated their entire lives to one of the oldest surviving art forms.
“The city has witnessed some interesting writers with respect to English theatre over the past couple of years.
In fact, this is a nationwide phenomenon.
With more and more affordable spaces coming up, amateur writers and directors today can stage original plays with relative ease.
It is a constant learning process.
There is a lot of scope for theatre to grow in Bangalore.
After all, it is a measure of the society’s cultural growth.
Theatre, especially in Bangalore, has a democratic setup.
I strongly feel the necessity of a dedicated playwright residency in our country.
This will probably enable more and more writers to learn the craft, and create something unique,” said Abhishek Majumdhar, playwright and director.
While experimentation in theatre has received both criticism and overwhelming responses, avant garde forms are still in its nascent stages in Bangalore.
However, the urban Indian audience always welcomed ‘new paradigms’ in theatre with open arms.
Namrta Dhar, playwright and director (Dharan Productions), feels that more and more people should try to live and experience every moment of a ‘theatrical performance’.
“Bangalore has always been a hub for theatre and other art forms.
There is so much scope for development here.
However, while writing original scripts, a few things need to be taken into consideration.
For instance, it needs to be relevant to the Indian audience.
If we don’t attempt to writesomething that is contextually strong, then we will fail to make that connection.
Writing for plays is a laborious task.
Today, brilliant playwrights would rather go to established groups than work with amateur artistes.
We need to encourage artistes who are willing to go that extra mile,” she pointed out.
Besides capturing the depth of human character, theatre has always managed to establish a fundamental link between art and our existence.
With a lot of ‘unoriginal’ or ‘repetitive works’ seeping into theatre over the years, there is a need to reinforce originality in writing today.
According to Nirmala Ravindran, a playwright, this particular art form has not only retained authenticity but also evolved over the years.
“What intrigues me the most about theatre is the ‘human element’ it caters to.
There are several budding writers generating good material on a regular basis.
I don’t think originality was ever a concern here.
However, today more and more original plays are being ‘performed’ in the city.
Artistes are constantly building awareness on the importance of theatre in our society.
Of course, there is a lot of struggle with theatre. Today you might be a star but tomorrow you may be nobody,” she further added.