Kathryn Hansen is a leading scholar of traditional performance of the Indian subcontinent. She is Director, Center for Asian Studies and Professor, Department of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin.
THE PARSI THEATRE
From its inception in 1853, Parsi theatre rapidly developed into a mobile, company-based entertainment that reached across colonial and princely India and extended overseas into Southeast Asia. Like its counterparts in modern Bengali and Marathi, it employed the prevailing local languages, used the European-style proscenium with richly painted backdrop curtains and trick stage effects, and depended on spectacle and melodrama to create audience appeal. Simultaneously, it ushered in the conventions and techniques of realism, marking the transition from stylized open-air presentations to a new urban drama. Although largely displaced by motion pictures after the advent of sound in the 1930s, Parsi theatre remains a vital component of the subcontinent’s cultural heritage, significant for its long-term impact on diverse regional theatrical styles and the popular cinema.
Publisher: SEAGULL BOOKS