June 1996. Editor: Anjum Katyal
Habib Tanvir, reminiscing about how, as a child, he would sit enthralled, watching the curtain go up, unveiling the magic of a whole other world on stage, revealed from the feet up, as it were; the curtain he rediscovered as an adult theatre director in Kuchipudi and Kathakali, where it had always been used, part of our folklore. The curtain he then began to use in plays totally different from the ones where he had first seen it. Something glimpsed as a child sparks off a response, a fascination, that works itself through in unimagined ways years later. Connections, echoes, ricochets. A mental environment in which you live and work, and that makes you the creative person (director, designer, actor, playwright) you are. Our purpose with the 'first person' is to capture, as completely as possible, the emotional and cultural environment which shapes a theatre person. This means going back to early influences, before the individual even began to think of him/herself as a theatre person; it means tracing random connections perhaps unrealized by the person till s/he begins to talk and almost free associate; it means gathering even seemingly unconnected memories, which, as theatre is a composite art form, often have to do with other art forms, like music or poetry or cinema. This is history in its most essential sense -history as inscribed on the mind and body of a single individual who is also part of a more public history. These oral histories are rich in archival value, significant source material for all kinds of further work in the field of cultural history. They are testimonies, particles of a collective memory, alternative perspectives. In that sense, they belong to us all.
CONTENTS It Must Flow: A Life In Theatre Habib Tanvir Ibsen And The Bengali Theatre Arundhati Banerjee Polls on Stage Paramita Banerjee Imaging Gita-A Polyphonic Discourse Amshan Kumar The Cultural Movement in Digambarpur Sanjoy Ganguly Notebook Book Pages Download the complete issue here