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Unformatted text preview: §®WMWCD \w L ”711/9/ 15 [91/131911 (”Z (90/0 9J4 / L» W 511(12121 THEA'I'RI: Srivastava. Ashok (1931— ): make-up expert. He demonstrated the subject at the *National School of learnt the craft on *Prithvi Theatres’ trailblazing pro— Drama, the Film and Television Institute (Pune), and else- ductions like Diwar (VI/2111’, 1945) and Pat/71m (1945), Where. He designed make—up for many films, including then freelanced for various groups. He devised his own Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982), and wrote on techniques of ‘instant make—up’ and special effects. make—up procedures for stage, cinema, and TV. PAg Employed with the government television network . Doordarshan as make—up artist, he also lectured on and 24>} tree: fiaeatre: Although most Indian rural performances take place in openwair public spam, and *Terukkuttu fixer literally translates as street theatre’, the term refers now to mainly left—wing theatre at street corners and open spaces, Which Safdar *Hashmi defined as a militant political theatre of protest {whose} function is to agitate the people and to mob1112e them behind fighting organizations. ’1rs beginnings are unrecorded, possibly nginjating 111' the anti'British and anti—fascist struggles of the late 19305. While it is certain that street theatre , take place 111 the 19405, we have no precise infomiation on actual productions until the *Praja Natya Mandali, formed in 1943 in Ahdhra Pradesh, quickly proliferated into hundreds of village—baSed units all Over the state. Memhers need traditional forms like *Burrakatha and *Harikatha to Sing, among other things, of the rious peasant struggle ojf-Telengana and to exhort people to rise against exploitation. In 1948,11abib "Tanvir did one ofthe first street plays, Strictly speakmg-Sbanndut kamgar ( The Labourer, Messenger of Peace )———for the Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA). , 61147351212111 (1949) was among the earlieét street plays in Calcutta Utpal *Diitt recalls that' it happened at * instange of Panu Pal, who interrupted an IPTA rehearsal and urged those present to do a quick, short 5 imptowsation on the" imprisonment of CorninuniSt leaders. The very next day, at 5 p 111., Chargesimt was performed at Hana Park to an audience of thousands of workers, and later repeated many times across West "Bengal. The experience impressed the young But: with the robust, rough theatricality of the pathaaazika (literally street playlet), its immediacy, and its political sharpness. Parallel to his prescenium career, he worked - in this genre-winch he called the fposteri play’rmetill the endof his life, mostly during election campaigns. In . terms of form. though, early Street theatre seems to have mimicked the stage, with the action often taking place ‘ 11:1 front ofa wall or some other backdrop, and odors entering from and exiting into makeshift wings. A few plays 1111121311111; Din hadnlerpab (“‘Pala of Changing “times 1967) were more elaborate, Stretching to three ” 'fiwther 111111121 innovations had to await a 1m genemtion efartistoetivism , , : sporadic hisiiory of the movement in India coincided with periods of political unrest Bunngithe 1111113131th 19793; {331mm saw hundreds o£ such petlormances by radical outfits. W111 the Emer- gcncy declared by the central government, repressim 1113113111511 against Communists, and the revolutionary Naxalbari uprising in Bengal, street theatre entered a new and potentially dangerous phase. Performers were - attacked, often by the police, which resulted in the death of at least two activists, Ashis Chatterjee of Theatre Unit in 1972 andehir Data of Silhouette in 19.74 Many others were arrested-,- beaten up, tortured. In , terms of form, Bridal *Sircar’s Work had great influence. Abandoning mainstream drama, he took to open—air _ " animating with the dissatisfied and uprooted urban working class 111 an intensely physical ‘ " style. Althoughhe does not see himselfas part ofthe movement, many street theatre groups benefited from the “workshops he held all over the country. Bengal continues to hays a vibrant tradition with regular shows performed by such veterans as Probir Guha ” In north India, Safdar Hashmis jana Natya Manch (or Janam), formed in 1973, led the movement. Till 2'} 2002,11 had notched up about 7900 performances offifiy-eight street plays, many of them later translated or adgpted by groups across south Asia Its first such play, Machine (1978), is a classic; Aurat (Woman, 1979) 451 STREET THEATRE Halli 6'01 (Attack); 1988), and Artimda’ , (‘Scream’, 1996, on sexual abuse of children) exemplify a popular, political A dieattethatfeatutes directconfiontaiion - 1,, and energy as well as artistry. Theatre , Union (1983—9, in Delhi), counting among its members Anutadha Kapur, Maya Rae, and Rati Bartholomew, did ' some exCelleiit street productions, such ‘ as 7126:: 79k Sing/7 based on Saadat Hasan *Mantos short story Another Del, group, Nisliant, is led by Shamsiil, , g a , i‘ the years ofmilitancy (19805), Badal {rear (facing camera, centre) in a streef theatre perform rice by his gro p; ' ‘ braving” threats to his life, and inspiring ' Satabd’i at Surenclranath Park, Calcutta » a Wh 01 e generati on of young theatre ' workers. In Gujarat, the groups Samvedati, Garage, Lek Kala Mariel: (all in Ahmadabad), and Parivartan (in Vadodara) perform street plays. 1 . _ . . ,, ,_ ,, South India has some of the best exponents, starting with Mulgi-jbali 599(A Gitl Is Born, 1983) wtitten by Jyoti Mhapseltar of Stree Mukti sangathana, Born , 1984 the shoehng death of thousands after a poison gas leak from th Union Carbide plant at Bhopal s During the 19903, non-goVemmental organizatioits (NGOs) used street theatre to promote consciousness, AIDS awareness, and family planning; Didactic in purpose, most of this work is of in theatrical quality. Whereas leftist street groups solicit voluntary audience donations to cover costs after coil their shows, NGO *the'atre for development is normally financed by donor agencies, often foreign. Sudhi Ptadhan (ed), Marxist Cultural Movement in India: Chronicle: and Documents, 3 vols. (Calcutta: National Book _ 7 Navana, and Mrs Santl Ptadhan, 1979~8 5}; Shirin, Bqand tbe Stag! Street Theatre against Comfliundlim! (Delhi: Media 2002i; Jacob Stampickal, Voice to :11: lézm’ess: T11: Power queople5 Theatre in India (New York: St Martin’s Press, 199% Si): Sillymi/a 5&wa 452 ...
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