Types of Genres in Modern Indian Theatres
The mythic narratives as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, classic authors as Kalidasa and Jayadeva, and forms of socio-religious literary experience, such as bhakti, have maintained a more or less continuous presence in Indian culture through oral, written, and performance modes of transmission. These have, over the years, formed a crucial part of theatre in India. The issue, then, is not whether the past is real outside its modern constructions, but how it comes to be re-imagined during the modern period, and what role these reconstructions play in the evolving ideas of nation and nationhood. After the mid-nineteenth century, appeals to an idealised Indian past become a key element in the nationalist advance toward sovereign nationhood; following independence, new stages of literary and cultural modernity have subjected the colonial era formations to revision and have created zones.
Anti colonialism had united a diverse populace against a common adversary to make the nation possible, the postcolonial politics of the "secular" nation-state have increasingly challenged the "idea of India" (especially since the 1980s) and have tended to deconstruct the nation back into its principal ethno religious components, represented most strongly by Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh fundamentalisms. When such post-independence plays as Bharati's Andhayug (1954), Rakesh's Ashadh ka ekdin (1958), and Karnad's Tayati (1961) evoke the epic and classical Hindu world, authors and audiences are strongly aware that the representation, whatever its view of its subject, is received in a diverse religious, social, political, and economic environment. Other plays, especially Girish Karnad's Tughlaq (1964) and Tale-danda (1989) and Vijay Tendulkar's Ghashiram kotwal (1973), are in fact about the historically grounded problem of irreducible religious and cultural differences on the subcontinent, and the fundamental divisiveness of hierarchical Hinduism. These playwrights thus represent the past not to assert the "unified Hindu identity of the modern Indian nation-state, but to scrutinize the dominant tradition in the context of a pluralistic nation. The evocation of the nation is not (and does not need to be) explicit; rather, it is an inevitable effect of the de-staging of myth and history Significantly, post-independence playwrights also enact the "space clearing" gesture of coming to terms with the past before turning to the historical present as an equally substantial subject of representation.
Mythological Themes in Indian Theatre
Right through the course of development of Indian theatre Indian epics and mythology has played a major part. The content of the plays and dramas, have always been inspired by the mythological stories. But beyond this common function of evoking the past, myth and history diverge significantly in their modes of composition, transmission, and reception. Myth in India is aligned with poetry, symbol, ritual, oral recitation, continuous textual renovation, and performance. History involves the conflicts between institutionalized and revisionary historiography, the interpenetration of true and fictive forms, the processes of ideological mediation, and the manipulation of .knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. In short, history may be mythologized and myth may be historicized, but in the modern context they are distinct narrative modes. The popular Indian epics; Mahabharata and Ramayana have always been used in order to address issues. Kannada theatre, Bengali theatre and all other regional theatre of India have used mythologies and epics to weave together an engaging story. Mythological Themes in Kannada Theatre has always taken precedence above all other themes in the history of Kannada theatre. Kannada theatre, over the years, has produced many playwrights to supply good quality plays, but unfortunately, very few have been original and creative. The theatre being commercial, its playwright could not be totally indifferent to the people's taste.
Historical Drama in Indian Theatre
Historical play is actually a phenomenon of 19th century Indian theatre. The growth of historical drama in a variety of languages coincided with the growth of interest in history in general and the Indian past in particular. It was further accelerated by Indian writer's warm response to European historical romances and drama. The plays of historical importance followed parallel lines of development to historical poems and novels on well-known episodes and exploiting, more or less, identical ideas projecting a new vision of national history.
It can well be said that mythological themes in drama mainly derived inspiration from pan-Indian Hindu sources, whereas historical drama accorded greater importance to regional sources. Curiously, ancient India provided subject matter occasionally. The examples can be mentioned as D. L. Roy's Chandragupta in 1911. This was one of the most popular plays based on ancient history, whereas medieval India fired the imagination of dramatists more significantly. The palace intrigues, heroism, romance, lust for political power, treachery, and self-sacrifice formed the stuff of which most Indian historical plays were made.