GUWAHATI, July 16 - Theatre in Assam has gone through many vicissitudes over the decades all the while growing and providing a scope to the theatre activists to explore the potential of the genre. This evolution has triggered many trends in the presentation of this art form with many young theatre activists acquiring a panache for experimenting with the genre at various levels right to thematic variation.
Significantly, with most of these young theatre activists, the epics and the rich treasure trove of mythology have been a source of ideas to create their experimental plays.
Young theatre activist Mrinal Jyoti Goswami who has been able to attract the attention of the critics with his attempt at thematic and technical experimentation is of the opinion that Assamese theatre has witnessed some very encouraging developments in the last few years. “Open mindedness and a good response from the theatre lovers have resulted in the presentation of many plays that are just experimental in nature,” said Goswami, adding that the stories in the epics and myths can be related to the present age as well and that is one of the factors prompting many playwrights and directors to base their plays on the stories of the epics.
Goswami, who recently presented two plays in Guwahati inspired by the Mahabharata, said many young directors feel that the issues of society and the dilemma faced by man can be highlighted through the stories from the past. “I tried to experiment with the characters by splitting them into two-one, showing their exterior self and the other reflecting their interior self. I felt happy with the response of the audience,” said Goswami, mentioning that audience for such experimental plays is gradually expanding.
However, Goswami pointed out that there is a need for more studies on all the theatrical experimentations going on around the globe so that Assamese theatre can gain more depth.
On the other hand, another theatre activist Gunakar Dev Goswami says that experimental theatre is getting good response of late from the people. Goswami, who has presented his plays outside the State earning critical acclaim, says theatre as a powerful performing art is always exposed to changes. “The experimentations have added more colour and life to drama. I also agree that young directors have a fancy for the epics and traditions and myths and they take their ideas from such literature,” said Goswami, observing that audiences have been appreciating the new trends in the field of theatre as that is a good mental recreation for them.