Natarang Pratishthan - Documentation
Natarang Pratishthan

Natarang Pratishthan
Archive and Resource Centre for Indian Theatre

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Ghasiram Kotwal (1982), Writer: Vijay Tendulkar, Director: B. V. Karanth.
Image: Ghasiram Kotwal (1982), Writer: Vijay Tendulkar, Director: B. V. Karanth. (NP Acc. No. 3659)

Documentation

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.

Sombhu Mitra, Habib Tanvir, B. V. Karanth, Vijaya Mehta, E. Alkazi, Satyadev Dubey

Some of the significant documentation undertaken:

  • Video recording of work process of B. V. Karanth while he was directing Andher Nagari with students of Ninasam, Heggodu.
  • Video documentation of work process of three women directors - Anamaika Haksar, Neelam Mansingh, and Anuradha Kapur.
  • Written documentation of the work process of Satyadev Dubey and Prasanna.
  • Complete video recording (now transcribed) of Poorva – the Asian Women Theatre Festival and Conference [more...].
  • Exhaustive listing of audio, video, written material available in India on theatre directors.

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.
Institutions which have provided us material include Abhiyan, Doordarshan, National School of Drama, Sri Ram Centre for Art and Culture, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sansaptak, Umang, Delhi; Ank, Awishkar, Ekjut, National Centre for Performing Arts, Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai; Adivasi Lok Kala Parishad, Bharat Bhawan, Rang Vidushak,and Ustad Alauddin Khan Sangeet Kala Academi, Bhopal; Bahurupee, Natya Shodh Sansthan Nandikar, Padatik, Rangakarmee, Shatabdi, Kolkata, Kalakshetra, Imphal; Rangayan, Mysore; NINASAM, Heggodu; Sopanam, Thiruvanantpuram; Bhartendu Natya Academy, Lucknow; and others.
Individuals such as Badal Sircar, K. N. Panikkar, Sudha Shivpuri, Ratan Thiyam, Saonli Mitra, Nadira Babbar, Johra Segal, Naima Upreti, Rajinder Nath, Prasanna, H. Kanhai Lal and Sabitri, Rekha Jain, Santwana Nigam, Malayashree Hashmi, Bansi Kaul, Raj Bisaria, Kunwar Narain, Alakhanandan, Usha Ganguli, K.K. Maheshwari and many others.

Natarang Pratishthan Showcase Director

B. V. KARANTH

Ramgopal Bajaj, B. V. Karanth, and Shanta Gandhi in a discussion at National School of Drama.

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 at rehearsal of play Karm Bhumi (Bhopal).

B. V. Karanth and Meena Williams in Kanchan Rang.

B. V. Karanth and Meena Williams in Kanchan Rang.
(Writer: Sombhu Mitra, Translation: Nemichandra Jain, Director: B. V. Karanth)

B. V. Karanth speaking on Music in contemporary Indian theatre at Bharat Bhavan Rangmandal, Bhopal.

B. V. Karanth speaking on Music in contemporary Indian theatre at Bharat Bhavan Rangmandal, Bhopal.