Since time immemorial, the theatre has been one of the most efficient ways of expressing our emotions. Narrating a story with actors and dialogues not only captivates the interest of the audience but also ensures that the story is passed on through generations thereby making it immortal. The theatre has witnessed so many stages of its own; from actors playing out the stories of great monarchs to touching tales of common folks.
The roots of theatre in India can be traced back to 5,000 years and is steeped in culture and tradition.
In early forms, the performances were often narrative including recitation, singing, and dancing.
India is one of the most diverse countries on this planet, with multiple languages and different dialects. Theatre in India, therefore, has seen evolutions on different levels; from Sanskrit dramas to folklore to Western influences to contemporary works. The introduction of different language theatres, like Marathi, Bengali and Kannada theatres.
Bhartendu Harishchandra (1850-85) established a new form of theatre in India, called the Hindi drama/ Hindi Theatre. His main goal for propagating Hindi theatre was to not only provide entertainment but also to have some edifying effect on society. Harishchandra was a theatre actor, director, manager, and playwright from the Varanasi who is now generally referred to as ‘father of modern Hindi theatre’.
Hindi theatre had its fair share of ups and downs. Hindi theatre failed to grab the attention of many sponsors and even though, with the vast majority of people speaking in Hindi, it slowly started to lose the interest of the audience. People found the Parsi theatre more interesting.
Independence brought a new dawn for Hindi Theatre as well.
In the year 1975, Sharad Nagar with the help of Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) decided to popularise 3rd April as, ‘Vishwa Hindi Rangmanch Diwas’.
Hindi Theatre and Bihar have a story of it’s own.
The foundation of Hindi theatre in Bihar was laid by Parsi and Bangla theatre.
Nataks have always been a vital part of Bihar. people have always used plays and drama to express their emotions on special occasions like festivals or public gathering and this was practices not only in cities but also in villages.
But it was Parsi and Bangla Theatres that helped in establishing the modern Hindi theatre in Bihar.
Anil Mukherjee, the founder of Kalidas Rangalaya, played a very important role in bringing Hindi theatre to Bihar.
He was part of the Bangla theatre and was fascinated by the world of drama. He wanted to popularize this style of theatre in his state and therefore he founded Kalidas Rangalaya in June 1961.
In December 1961, Palki was the first staging that he did and after that, there was no stopping.
in the current times, Bihar Art Theatre and Kalidas Rangalaya make sure that there is the continuous staging of Hindi theatre is done.
In the current times, the art of theatre may seem like it is losing its charm. For an art form that has been traced back to 5000 years, that has been a crucial part of our culture, we sure are not giving it the importance it deserves.
It is a bitter truth that people prefer Silver screen than going to watch these dramas. To those who haven’t watched the theatre before, you should it is a beautiful experience.
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Quote of the day-“The Way Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing.”
― Walt Disney