Restaging Marathi Theatre

A new crop of playwrights and directors offers glimmers of a rejuvenation in Marathi theatre.

It is an often-heard refrain that Marathi theatre had its golden age in the 1960s and 1970s and is now a shadow of itself. If theatre lovers of an earlier vintage were asked for their opinion, they would say the golden age happened in the early 20th century when Bal Gandharva strode the sangeet natak stage.

Having said that, it must be admitted that the 1960s and 1970s were decades of extremely significant work not only in Marathi theatre but across the country – in Kannada, Bengali and Hindi theatre too. However, it was not as if suddenly a crop of brilliant playwrights and directors had come into being at the time. There were sociopolitical forces at work that provided the push to their work. It cannot be mere coincidence that Vijay Tendulkar’s path-breaking play Shantata! Court Chalu Ahe was written in 1963, a year before Bob Dylan’s album The Times They Are A-Changin’ was released; and produced in 1968, a few months after the student uprisings in France and the Prague Spring. In England John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger had already brought the kitchen sink into the genteel drawing rooms of British theatre.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Having lost a dear friend, the author reflects on the nature of friendship, and its relationship with memory.

As mounting performance pressure on students lays the ground for increasing malpractice, what can academic administrators do differently?

At the root of sexual harassment in the arts is an unquestioning culture of subservience.

Could the lived experiences of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, shared with millions of Americans, be their ticket to the White House?

As the concert stage is left empty, what can music and musicians do differently for the art form?

Amitav Ghosh’s novel goads us to seriously rethink our world, and finds new relevance under current circumstances.

S P Balasubrahmanyam’s influence on the Telugu people extends beyond singing and cinema.

Back to Top