(Last Updated on : 18-06-2012)
Theatre companies in Assam are the pillars behind the success of commercial theatre in Assam. Assamese theatre has a glorious history. The form of theatre called Ankiya Nat or Bhaona, composed by Vaishnava reformers like Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva are usually staged in community halls termed nam-ghar. There are also some other traditional performatory genres such as Bhaoriya, Dhuliya, and Oja-Pali. The theatre companies in Assam stages all kinds of shows and dramas all across the state and neighbouring region.
In the late nineteenth century, the theatre companies in Assam created a renaissance with magnificent equipment and facilities. Theatre in regional language started to become instantly popular with the theatre companies in Assam and in no time swayed all of the state and its people. Initially, performances were held on temporarily erected stages. But the theatre companies in Assam initiated permanent structures during the 1890s and by the second decade of the twentieth century, all the district and sub divisional towns, including a few semi-urban places, had at least one theatre, sponsored by the theatre companies in Assam.
The theatre companies in Assam produced all kinds of plays, mythological stories, dance dramas, comedy, romance and so on. Many one-act competitions used to be held all over Assam, and there were dramatists who specialized in writing short scripts and the theatre companies in Assam sponsored these competitions. The theatre companies in Assam brought about talented actors from all corners of the state and also hanging rows of kerosene lamps, gaslight, or pressure lamps of the brand name Petromax, in order to lit up the theatre room brightly. Theatre companies in Assam tried to bring realism by using three-dimensional set pieces. However, realistic scenography entered only in the late 1940s, replacing painted backdrops. Fashionable sets, clean uniformed stages, have served as theatre designs by the theatre companies in Assam. Costumes were usually hired from the theatre companies in Assam. Phani Sarma, and creative directors like Dulal Roy are some of the famous names associated with the theatre companies in Assam.