Theatre and the World: Essays on Performance and Politics of Culture

On the phenomenon of interculturalism in the theater, with special reference to India.

358 78 105MB

English Pages 312 [330] Year 1990

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

Theatre and the World: Essays on Performance and Politics of Culture

Citation preview









Essays on Performance and Politics of Culture

I take criticism so seriously as to believe that, even in

the very midst of a battle in which one is unmistakably on· one side against another, there should be criticism, because there must be critical consciousness if there are to be issues, problems, values, even lives · to be fought/or . . -Edward Said, The World, the Text and the Critic.

THEATRE AND-THE WORLD Essays on Performance and Politics o/ Culture


Rustom ~arucha



. •



.. \




ISBN 81-85425-01-9 Fint Published 1990

© Rustom Blwucha Pwblislud l,y Ramesh Jain Manohar Publications 2/6 Ansari Road, Daryaganj New Delhi-.110002 Lasertypuet l,y Microtech Advance Printing Systems Pvt. Ltd. H-13, Bali Nagar, New Dclhi-110015

Print«l at P.L Printers C 3/19 Rana Partap Bagh Delhi 110009 Jacket design by Cllandralekha


PJ..480-SA l-\o .. q '")~

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This collection of essays could be described as a theatrical journey. It has involved much travel in different parts of the world. The earliest e~ys were written between 1981-84 while I was teaching in New Yorlc. The writing on Request Concert synchronized with productions of the play staged in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Jakarta, and Tokyo between 1986-87. The short secti_on on the production in W~t Gennany was written after the play was staged at the Norddeutsche Dance Theatre Festival in May 1988. All the other essays were written in India, where I am now pennanently based. The entire manuscript was compiled and revised in Calcutta between January-May 1989. Journeys in theatre are rarely smooth. The obstacles, accidents, and detours that one encounters along the way can be circumvented only through the support of one's fellow travellers. Looking back on my numerous encounters in theatres and streets, hotels and homes, airports and ttain stations, I realize how much of my writing has been shaped by these seemingly tangential meetings with strangers, many-of whom are now my associates and friends. Even those who passed on to unknown destinations have inspired this book in various ways, and I remember them as well. More sp