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Image: Ghasiram Kotwal (1982), Writer: Vijay Tendulkar, Director: B. V. Karanth. (NP Acc. No. 3659)
India’s rich history of theatre and performing arts is backed by poor documenting skills, since the oral tradition laid no emphasis on the recording of individual performances. Unfortunately, in spite of increased awareness on the importance of documentation today, the situation regarding contemporary theatre practices is no better. No wonder the Pratishthan has dedicated itself to acquiring old collections, scripts, photographs and other material of value from all over India, its preservation and treatment.
Simultaneously, it has undertaken discourses on interdisciplinary issues, and documented the theatrical processes of Indian and Asian directors and actors in the audio-visual and verbal media. Not only is it one of the main objectives of the Pratishthan, its documentation that has included performances, interviews and work processes continues with new material being added regularly to the archives. The Pratishthan is in constant dialogue with theatre people in this regard.
Lately it has undertaken a major project on compilation and documentation of material on important theatre personalities with a view to facilitate an indepth study and eventually publication at a later stage for wider dissemination. Under this scheme it has worked on several eminent theatre directors and personalities with financial supports from Sir Ratan Tata Trust and the J.R.D. Tata Trust.
Some of the significant documentation undertaken:
Directors undertaken for documentation
*Listings for B.V. Karanth, Habib Tanvir, Satyadev Dubey, Sombhu Mitra and Vijaya Mehta are under updation.
Such listing on theatre personalities and institutions is ongoing and it is planned that monographs will be printed based on the material collected in the process. Books on Satyadev Dubey, Badal Sircar and K. N. Panikkar are being prepared for publication under the documentation project.
Pratishthan is grateful to all the institutions, groups and individuals who helped partisthan richen its collection.
B. V. KARANTH
Ramgopal Bajaj, B. V. Karanth, and Shanta Gandhi in a discussion at National School of Drama.
B. V. Karanth at rehearsal of play Karm Bhumi (Bhopal).
B. V. Karanth and Meena Williams in Kanchan Rang.
B. V. Karanth speaking on Music in contemporary Indian theatre at Bharat Bhavan Rangmandal, Bhopal.