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Colonial Staged

Theatre In Colonial Calcutta

From the late eighteenth century, Calcutta, first city of the British Empire, has been a hub of intersecting ideas and movements of change.  Nowhere did the restless currents of history play themselves out more graphically than in the composite art of theatre and performance.  This pioneering study of the history of Bengali theatre looks at the plays mounted in the city in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and their reception.  It goes on to study the cultural efflorescence known as the ’Bengal Renaissance’ and the subsequent politicization of a theatre imbued with ideas of nationalism and social reform, with a particular focus on the complex and problematic issue of the place of women in theatre.

344 pages | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2


Asian Studies: South Asia

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

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Table of Contents


Author’s Note on Transliteration, Translation and References

Foreword: The Making of a Vital Theatre Culture by Richard Schechner


The Staging of the Native: The Russian, the Babu and the Moor

Mise-en-(Colonial)Scène: Theatre of the Bengal Renaissance

Twixt the Twain: From Colonial Jatra to Native Theatre

Mother(s) of Invention: Prostitute-Actresses and Late-Nineteenth-Century Bengali Theatre

The Nation Staged: Politics and the Nation in Late-Nineteenth-Century Bengali Bourgeois Theatre

Foregone ‘Conclusion’?

References Cited

Select Bibliography


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