Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 13:6 June 2013
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


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Drama in Indian Writing in English
Tradition and Modernity

Dr. (Mrs.) N. Velmani

Drama in Indian Writing in English - Tradition and Modernity by Dr. Velmani is an excellent and insightful analysis of the trends in modern Indian drama. Indian drama is an ancient art and has its roots in folk drama performed and enjoyed in all Indian languages and dialects. Classical and Traditional Indian Drama is truly an epic theatre with dialogues, songs, dance and music interspersed throughout the play. Characters came from a variety of classes of people and the story content was also of various kinds: mythological, social, ethical, absorbing human stories and all-embracing rituals and traditions, etc. Likewise, Indian drama entertained all sections of the society.

Plays in Indian Writing in English have adopted the influential trends and innovations of the European and British epic theatre adumbrated in the plays of Brecht and others. Plays in Indian Writing in English reveal a meaningful and enjoyable merger of the themes, strategies and stories of traditional Indian Drama with the modern trends in the plays of Brecht. A blend of tradition and modernity has enriched the literary content and mode of presentation. The audience relishes the innovation and gains insights into the present social values, themes and issues even as the external form and the story narrated may be in traditional clothing! Signs and symbols abound in such plays and the dialogues are crisp and reveal the inner thoughts and life of the characters vis-à-vis the society in which they live.

Dr. Velmani presents the analysis of plays of some of the leading playwrights whose plays have been translated/recreated in Indian Writing English – Girish Karnard, Mahesh Dattani, et al. The analysis presented in every chapter of this significant book brings out the trends noticed in the Epic Theatre of Indian Writing in English. In addition, Dr. Velmani also gives us excellent insights into Brecht’s theory and practice as well as an excellent analysis of a British playwright, Howard Brenton. There is comparison and contrast between the British/European Epic Theatre and Modern Indian Epic Theatre.

Students and scholars who focus on Modern Indian Drama will learn a lot from the analysis presented by Dr. Velmani. Students of Indian Writing in English, in particular, will be encouraged to create innovations and to experiment with various forms of Drama, making a blend of tradition and modernity without losing the central focus of any serious Drama – Entertainment as well as Instruction.

From the Foreword of Dr. G. Baskaran.

Foreword Dr. G. Baskaran
Preface Dr. N. Velmani

1. Indian Theatrical Tradition
2. Brechtian Epic Theatre
3. Brechtian Influence on Girish Karnad: A Study of Brecht’s The Life of Galileo and Karnad’s The Dreams of Tipu Sultan
4. The New Visionary Heroes: Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan: A Study of Girish Karnad’s ‘The Dreams of Tipu Sultan’ and Indira Parthasarathy’s Aurangzeb’
5. Passivity of the Passionate female protagonists in the plays of Girish Karnad
6. From Myth to Modernity: A Critical Study of GirishKarnad’s Wedding Album
7. Brechtian Epic Theatre and Badal Sarcar’s Third Theatre
8. Mahesh Dattani’s Dance Like a Man as an Epic Theatre
9. Howard Brenton’s British Epic Theatre and Bertolt Brecht’s Epic Theatre
10. Politics as Theatre: A Study of Howard Brenton’s plays

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Dr. (Mrs.) N. Velmani, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
V.V. Vanniaperumal College for Women
Virudhunagar 626001

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