(Last Updated on : 13/04/2010)
Caturasra is the square type of theatre or play house in Indian theatre
. It is a plot of land thirty two hastas square is measured out on an auspicious moment. The play house is then constructed there by the experts in the art of drama. It should be an exact square divided into the requisite parts by means of the measuring string. Strong bricks are to be used for the edifice of the outer walls. They are to be set together very thickly. Inside the stage ten pillars are to be raised in the significant directions. The pillars should be capable of supporting the roof. Externally to the pillars seats are constructed in the form of galleries with brick and wood in order to accommodate the audience comfortably. Successive rows of seats are made in each one hasta higher than the one before. The lowest row is one hasta higher than the ground. These seats are so constructed that it shall overlook the stage.
According to the Natyashastra
, inside the Caturasra stage six more pillars strong enough to support the roof are ceremoniously raised. Eight more pillars are raised by their side. The plinth of the Rangapitha shall be eight Hastas square. More pillars are then raised in order to support the roof of the playhouse. Proper fasteners are to be used to fix the pillars to the roof. They are then decked out with figurines. The green room is to be constructed carefully. One door of the green room leads to the stage. The actors enter the stage through this door with their faces towards the audience. There must be another door facing the auditorium. The stage is eight hastas square. Elevated plinth with plain surface is furnished. The Mattavarams should be made in accordance with the injunctions laid down before on either side of the theatre.
There are rules, definitions and ceremonies by way of propitiating deities etc. which are necessary before the construction of Square play house. The stage can be equal to the plinth in height or somewhat elevated. In the case of the square type the heights of both are equal to each other. These are the rules governing the square type of playhouse.