Contemporary Group Theatre in Kolkata, India: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Contemporary Group Theatre in Kolkata, India

1st Edition

By Arnab Banerji


192 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367496128
pub: 2020-06-09
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 9th June 2020
Hardback: 9780367205133
pub: 2020-06-09
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 9th June 2020

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This book is the first of its kind offering a materialistic semiotic analysis of a non-Western theatre culture – the Bengali group theatre. Arnab Banerji fills two lacunas in contemporary theatre scholarship. First, the materialist semiotic approach to studying a non-Western theatre event allows Banerji to critically examine the material conditions in which theatre is created and seen outside the Euro-American context. And second, by shifting the critical lens on to a contemporary urban theatre phenomenon from India, the book attempts to even out the scholastic imbalance in Indian theatre scholarship which has largely focused on folk and classical traditions.

The book shows a refreshing new perspective towards a theatre culture that frequently escapes the critical lens in spite of being one of the largest urban theatre cultures in the world. Theatre events are a sum total of the conditions in which they are built and the conditions in which they are viewed. Studying the event separate from its materialistic beginnings and semiotic effects allow only a partial insight into the performance phenomenon.

The materialist semiotic critical framework of this book locates the Bengali group theatre within its performative context and offers a heretofore insight into this vibrant theatre culture.

Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction – the City and its Theatre; Part Two: The Material Conditions of the Bengali Group theatre; Chapter 1: The People; Chapter 2: Can You Train to be a Labor?; Chapter 3: No Space to Call Home; Chapter 4: In the Corridors of Shastri Bhavan; Part Three – Notes from the Field, Case Studies of Bengali Group Theatre Productions; Chapter 5: Sat Tala Bari; Chapter 6: Spectactors; Chapter 7: Swapnasandhani,;Part Four – Conclusions

About the Author

Arnab Banerji is an Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Dramatic Literature at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Arnab’s essays and reviews have been published in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Asian Theatre Journal, TDR, BOOM California, Ecumenica, Theatre Symposium, Sanglap, Cerebration, SERAS, and Virginia Review of Asian Studies. His current research is in performances by the Indian diaspora, translations of Indian vernacular plays, and contemporary Bengali theatre. Arnab is married and lives with his partner Sayantika in Los Angeles. When he is not doing academic stuff, Arnab enjoys drinking specialty coffee, looking up restaurants around town, binge watching The Office, and browsing through graphic novels.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering theatre and performance alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, and the avant-garde, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / Asian
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Stagecraft