Drama In English Drama

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Indian English drama dates from 1831’ when Krishna Mohan Banerji wrote “The Persecuted or Dramatic Scenes illustrative of the present state of Hindoo society in Calcutta”. In his preface, Banerjee claims that inconsistencies and the blackness of the influential members of the Hindoo community have been depicted before their eyes. They will now clearly perceive the wiles and tricks of the Bramins and thereby be able to guard themselves against them. This somewhat crude presentation of the conflict in the mind of a sensitive Bengali youth between orthodoxy and the new ideas ushered in by Western education remained a solitary dramatic effort, not only in Bengal but also anywhere in India for more than a generation. Michael Madhusudan Dutt, the…show more content…
For instance, the first Bengali play to be staged (27 Nov, 1795) was an adaptation of a musical farce- “The disguise” by Jordrell; and the Hindoo Theatre established by Prosannakumar Tagore on 21 December 1831 staged portions of Julius Caesar. Owing to the lack of a firm dramatic tradition nourished on actual performance in a live theatre, early Indian English drama in Bengal; as elsewhere in India, grew sporadically as mostly closet drama; and even later, only Sri Aurbindo, Rabindranath Tagore and Harindranath Chattopadhyaya produced a substantial corpus of dramatic…show more content…
His Poems and Plays (1927) contain seven verse plays on the lives of Indian saints- Pundalik, Saku Bai, Jayadeva, Chokha Mela, Ekanath, Raidas and Tukaram. The poetic quality of these plays is superior to their dramatic virtues. Apart from the plays of Sri Aurobindo, Tagore and Chattopadhyaya there are only stray efforts during the period like Sarath Kumar Ghose’s “The Prince of Destiny(1910); Kedarnath Das Gupta’s “Calif for a Day” (1916) and Bharata ( with Margaret G. Mitchell) (1918) and Dhan Gopal Mukherji’s “Layla-Majnu” (1916). As compared to Bengal, the story of early Indian English Drama in Bombay is much briefer. Though the first theatre in Bombay, The Bombay Amateur Theatre, was built in 1776, dramatic activity was almost exclusively limited to performances by visiting European touring Companies. With the rise of modern drama in Marathi and Gujrati heralded by Annasaheb Kirloskar’s epoch-making production of Shakuntal in Marathi in 1880, the vernacular stage soon posed a formidable challenge to English

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