A History of the Jana Natya Manch: Plays for the People by Arjun Ghosh PDF

By Arjun Ghosh

A heritage of the Jana Natya Manch chronicles the delivery and progress of the Jana Natya Manch (Janam), a Delhi-based radical theater workforce which has been lively given that 1973. starting within the early Seventies, while a bunch of younger scholars in Delhi sought to proceed the legacy of the Indian Peoples' Theatre organization, the publication takes a detailed yet severe examine many of the stages within the 4 many years of the theatre collective. the writer has additionally captured inside those pages the functioning of Janam as a firm, its tools of attracting and coaching clean expertise, the method of scripting, interactions with mass businesses, the adventure of appearing virtually skin-to-skin with its spectators within the dirt of Indian streets, and lots more and plenty extra. This booklet is not just a narration of Janam s historical past, improvement and functioning, it's also an try to throw clean mild at the perform of theater.

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The machine runs this way for a few 35 36 A History of the Jana Natya Manch moments. Once the idea of the machine is crystallized, the Sutradhar comes in to describe the machine—this is no ordinary machine: “A Machine made of iron. A Machine of the factory. The Machine has an owner, and has many parts, that is workers. The machine runs all day, and all night too. ” Thus, from the concrete machine of the factory emerges an abstraction of the system of production. This is an attempt to enter into an analysis of the capitalist structure through an image to which all workers share tremendous intimacy—the machine.

And more people had joined the group—Manish Manoja, Rakesh Saxena, Uday Chatterjee, Bijoy Samajdar. They did a play, Kimlish, a short play on the workingclass movement in Bihar translated from Bangla (Hashmi 1989, 148). Shyamal Mukherjee directed the production (K. Ghosh 2010). They realized that while they worked for the SFI, the issues that they addressed through their theater went beyond those of the student movement. As they worked more and more, they inched toward a desire to give shape to a full-fledged theater group.

This resulted in a fascinating phase of activism, creative ferment, adopting performance styles to the demands and possibilities of a new space. The chapter “An Eventful Decade (1981–1988)” talks of Janam’s consolidation of its art of street theater. More and more actors kept joining it for various lengths of time. The actors had their first brush with intimidation from opponents when some of them were arrested while performing a play in 1986. The chapter ends with Janam’s decision in 1988 to venture back to the proscenium space.

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