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Imagining a National Theatre: The First Drama Seminar Report

Theatre Report

This academic essay critically examines the FDSR (First Drama Seminar Report) organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in April 1956, in its quest to delineate the future of Indian theatre and long term development planning. It attempts to examine the modes through which the FDSR constructs the history of pre-independence theatre in India and thereafter to evaluate the terms through which it imagines and institutes a national theatre for the nation’s post colonial future.

Key Highlights:

The essay sheds light on the following issues:

  • Pre-histories of a National Theatre: Bengali and Parsi Theatres and the lack of visibility for the latter
  • Hybridity in Parsi theatre and its characterization as a distinctively colonial intervention
  • The avidly discussed questions concerning the  institutional structure of the ‘future’ Indian drama. The principal issues at stake were  those of rebuilding the theatre, removing the “outdated [colonial] restrictions” “hindering [its]growth and development” and  finally creating a suitable infrastructure for  the imminent national  theatre.
  • Issues around State Support and the Constitution of the National Theatre

    Read the entire report here.