This book analyses Rabindranath Tagore’s contribution to Bengali drama and theatre. Throughout this book, Abhijit Sen locates and studies Rabindranath’s experiments with drama/theatre in the context of the theatre available in nineteenth-century Bengal, and explores the innovative strategies he adopted to promote his ‘brand’ of theatre. This approach finds validation in the fact that Rabindranath combined in himself the roles of author-actor-producer, who always felt that, without performance, his dramatic compositions fell short of the desired completeness. Various facets of his plays as theatre and his own role as a theatre-practitioner are the prime focus of this book. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars in Theatre and Performance Studies and most notably, those focusing on Indian Theatre and Postcolonial Theatre.
Table of Contents
Introduction SECTION 1: The historical context 1. The Bengal Renaissance theatre and Rabindranath SECTION 2: Rabindranath as dramaturge and theorist 2. Theatre and Nation 3. Theatre at the asram-school 4. Theories of theatre SECTION 3: Rabindranath as theatre-practitioner 5. Preparing the playtext 6. Selecting the cast 7. Rehearsing the play 8. Setting the stage 9. Acting the role 10. Theatricalizing cultures 11. Translating the playtext 12. Conclusion
Abhijit Sen is a former Professor of English, Department of English, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. His chief areas of interest include Renaissance Studies, Theatre Studies and Rabindranath Tagore.
He has made presentations at seminars/conferences – regional, national and international, and has also published widely in areas related to his fields of interest. Apart from being the Guest Editor of Sangeet Natak, vol. XLVI, nos. 1-4, 2011: Special issue on "Rabindranath’s East-West Encounters: Performance and Visual Arts" (New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi, 2013), he has also edited Shakespeare’s Macbeth, with introduction and annotations (New Delhi: Pearson Longman, 2009). Among some of the translations done by him is the English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Tasher Desh, translated as The Kingdom of Cards, in Essential Tagore, eds. Fakrul Alam & Radha Chakravarty (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2011): 450-487.
Abhijit Sen has also been actively engaged with the theatre, working with students and colleagues at Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, as well as producing plays with theatre troupes in Kolkata. At Santiniketan, he has worked on Shakespearean productions like The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, The Wars of the Roses, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Among the plays of Rabindranath Tagore that he has produced are Visarjan, Raja and Tasher Desh (as prose play).