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Performers as Placemakers: An emerging tradition of theatre practitioners building their own spaces in India

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Author: Himanshu Burte

This paper is an early exploration into the crisis of space (un)availability for theatre in India and the theatre community’s response to that crisis. The author explores the significance of the emerging paradigms of performance spaces and also investigates what the example of the Koothambalam in Kerala has to offer for Indian theatrical culture today.

Key Highlights:

  • One of Indian theatre’s greatest crises in modern times has been spatial. Indian theatre as a cultural practice has not been very well served by theatres which are the sites of such practices.
  • However, many theatre groups and artists have begun to respond to this crisis by taking charge of the process and outcome of making places for performance.
  • Most of the performance spaces that have emerged out of this particular development are small and are technologically almost elementary, but are also extremely engaging. 

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