(Last Updated on : 14/09/2012)
Influence of Media on Modern Indian Theatre
has had its impact. With the advent of technology and improvement of the mass media, theatre as an entertaining genre did take a beating at the initial stage. There has always been an interesting debate whether the appearance of film in the 1930s was actually blamed for the decline of theatrical activity. The fact remains that the popularity of television by the mid-1970s caused new anxieties regarding its implications for theatre.
While understanding the limitations that - film and TV impose upon drama various writers and scholars have put forth their own analogy about the detrimental effects of the marvels of trick photography, speech, and dialogue of film that resulted in the downfall of the spectacular drama of the Parsi Theatre
. Some have, however, has put forward the positive effects of cinema in terms of techniques of stage-production based on electrical and mechanical devices, speech, and the discarding of coherence, symmetry, episodic build-up and other common practices in dramatic art' such as short scenes. Some of the arguments also highlight television and cinema as an ally to theatre.
During the 1970s, with the growing television vieweship, new relationships of drama and television had been developed and that being the possibilities that television can provide in terms of stage techniques, acting, camera, the emotions achieved through close-ups, as well as in accessing a viewership that is otherwise limited to drama. Moreover the availability and nature of television play scripts forms the most crucial point. Hence it is important to realize that unlike any other mode of creative writing a television play script cannot be a one-man band; here the scriptwriter, director, actors, producer, and cameraman are all equally important and it is only when they all work in co-ordination that the script acquires any meaning.
Through the example of the Ramlila
shows how regional folk theatres, 'in spite of cinema and television, still attract large audiences in their respective regions-Yakshagana
in the Indian state
of Uttar Pradesh
in West Bengal
, or, as a popular variety of religious folk theatre, the annual representation of the Ramlila all over northern India. Further many of the regional theatre forms have come to light even in mass media such as the commercial Hindi film in Bollywood
. The first film, director Chandan Arora's Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (2003), while ostensibly a satire on the world of Indian cinema and the difficulties it imposes for entry-level aspirants such as its village dancer-protagonist, nonetheless throws light on the popularity of Nautanki style theatre in the village and makes it available to urban audiences. And director Dibakar Banerjee's film Khosla ka Ghosla (2006) shows the ability of a theatre group to break into the corrupt world of real estate politics in suburban Delhi
, when all other strategies fail, and restore a seized piece of land to its rightful owner.
In future as well, if there arises any problem with the sustenance of theatre and competition with the main stream media like television and cinema, Indian theatre
or Indian drama
would certainly find ways in which dramatic forms and practices negotiate the growing impact of media.