World Theatre: Theory and Practice

- Dr.Soumyabrata Choudhary / Samik Bandopadhyay

This course will be exploratory in nature and its aim will be to problematize the terrain of "World Theatre". A different outline and orientation, with a different set of topics and readings, would surely yield "another world theatre." There will be two sections to this course: historical and contemporary. The historical section will mainly take the western theatrical tradition as its object. The tactical reason for this is that the received idea of "theatre" as a cultural construct comes from the West, and the theatrical practices of non-western origins have been largely dominated and judged by the cultural, conceptual and aesthetic models of western theatre. The contemporary side of our course will try to carry an anthropological description over into an ongoing debate as to the extension, comprehension and the very validity of the concept of "theatre" vis-à-vis (a) multi-cultural practices of performance, including their techniques, semiotic encodings and their aesthetics, (b) the overall condition of knowledge and practice in society currently called 'postmodern' and its relations with the specific or universal features of a global capitalist 'world'.

Pre readings :

• Michael Huxley and Noel Witts eds., The 20th Century Performance Reader, Routledge, London, 1996.

• Martin Banham, ed., The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre, New York, 1988.

• Eric Bentley, The Theory of the Modern Stage, Baltimore, 1968.