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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Indian English Drama: Translations

Indian English Drama: Translations

            Indian Drama in English translation has made bold innovations and fruitful experiments in terms of both thematic concerns and technical virtuosities. It has been increasingly turning to history, legend, myth and folklore tapping their springs of vitality and vocal cords of popularity with splendid results. Plays written in various Indian languages are being translated into English and other languages as they are produced and appreciated in the various parts of the country. A closer contact is being established between the theatre workers from different regions and languages through these translations. Thus, regional drama in India is slowly paving a way for a ‘national theatre’ into which all streams of theatrical art seem to coverage. The major language theatres that are active all through the turbulent years of rejuvenation and consolidations are those of Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada.
            The plays mentioned so far, both under the Pre-Independence and the Post-Independence phase were originally written in English. Among the plays translated into English, there are a few, which were first written in the regional languages and subsequently translated into English by the authors themselves. Though, strictly speaking, these works cannot be called fully English plays, they can be mentioned under the topic, in view of the fact, that at least some of them are transcreations and not simply translations. Rabindranath Tagore, Mohan Rakesh, Badal Sircar, Vijay Tendulkar, and Girish Karnad have remained the most representative of the Indian English drama not only in Bengali, Hindi, Marathi and Kannada respectively but also on the pan-Indian level.
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Indian English Drama: Women Playwrights

Indian English Drama: Women Playwrights 
            Apart from the substantial contributions rendered in Indian English Drama by the noted dramatists like Asif Currimbhoy, Nissim Ezekiel, Girish Karnad, Badal Sircar, Mohan Rakesh, Vijay Tendulkar and Mahesh Dattani, some Indian English women playwrights have also published their plays in the contemporary phase. Mrs. J. M. Billimoria in her play My Sons (1963) presents a picture of five students of Bombay University who, in spite of sharp differences in their religion and language live like real brothers.
            Dina Mehta’s first full length play The Myth Makers (1969) won an award from Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Competition in 1968 and Tiger Tiger (1978) - a play on Tipu Sultan, Brides are not Burning (a play on dowry deaths) won the first prize in a worldwide competition sponsored by B. B. C. in 1979. Getting Away with Murder was on the short list of seven specially commended radio plays out of 902 entries submitted for the B. B. C. World Playwriting Competition, 1989. Her other famous plays are One Plus One Makes Nine and Sister Like You. Her Getting Away with Murder deals with childhood, sexual abuse, infidelity, and insecure relationship. It gives an account of three women friends who pass through their own private hells and finally emerge as strangers to one another. Mrs. Mehta brings to life the extremely parochial mentality of some residents of cities like Mumbai.
            The Indian drama in English is yet to be flourished but we can predict a rich and fertile soil for the blooming and blossoming of the tree of the same. In fact, there have been serious and sincere efforts for the theatre-oriented plays. The women playwrights have something distinct to offer to the audience. They have given new dimensions by infusing new type into this genre. They focus the issues like violence: physical, mental and several other aspects of it. They have proved through their plays that they fulfil the specific demands of theatre. 


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