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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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  1. Vishwanthji! It is a great article! Especially for a student of drama like me! I have no words! Thanks!

  2. I remember one more play, a recent one of Shri Girish Karnad.Actually I have seen its Marathi version.Name of the play is "Broken Images"! I had seen the Marathi version acted by Reema.It was just fascinating!A great production! Thanks!



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