Badal Sircar: Search for a Language of Theatre

Paper Type: Book print paper | Size: 229 mm x 152 mm
Black and white; 96 photographs; 460 pages; Hardback
ISBN-10: 9383098961 | ISBN-13: 978-93-830989-6-5


Badal Sircar was one of the most significant modern playwrights of post Independence India. Starting in the fifties, with his deep understanding of the concerns and anxieties of the Indian middle class coupled with his delightful sense of humour and wit, he made an immediate connect with the people and brought a new energy and excitement to the theatre arena with his large body of plays. He stands out for his innovativeness and the sheer range of his plays in terms of subjects, forms and styles. He is probably the most translated and staged Indian playwright of the last century. Badal Sircar with his unique and characteristic restlessness, passion and social commitment was constantly experimenting not only with dramatic form and language but also with performance spaces, acting styles and performer-spectator relationships. Through experiments and exposure to different methodologies he explored and developed his own theory and practice of theatre called the Third Theatre—a theatre of synthesis between the urban and the traditional theatre. Donning many hats – of playwright, theoretician, actor, director and activist – he was a composite theatre personality, and liked to be known as such. Single-handedly, he created a brand of theatre all over the country and overseas which empowered small amateur theatre groups to practise theatre without much infrastructure and training and with a strong sense of purpose. This book, through memoirs, interviews, essays, dialogues, reviews and notes by directors, traces the life and theatre of this iconic but lonely figure, from different viewpoints, piecing together his relentless creative journey of more than six decades. 


Kirti Jain
Kirti Jain

Former Director, NSD, Kirti Jain is a theatre director and pedagogue; she contributed articles to books and journals on theatre including entries in The Oxford Companion to Theatre. She has produced plays and documentaries for Doordarshan and directed several plays over nearly forty years. Her works are a synthesis of politics, aesthetics, dramatics, innovation and showcase a rare directorial skill. She initiated the Theatre in Education company at NSD; concern for developing theatre spaces and audience in Delhi resulted in her organizing Week End Theatre through Natarang Pratishthan; curious about women’s aesthetics, she took on Poorva—the Asian Women Theatre Director’s Festival and Conference. Honors include the B.V. Karanth Smriti Puraskar (NSD, 2010) and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Direction (2011).