Dhere Center

Indian theatre
and dramatics

Though Dr. Dhere is not a drama critique in established fashion, his writings related to drama and theater expands scope of understanding of roots and tradition of Marathi Theater. His minute observations related to Marathi Theater enrich the thought process in Marathi drama.
He states thoughts on devotion and drama with reference to the medieval literature and culture in many of his important researched volumes. His books likes “Shri Vitthal: Ek Mahasamnavay”, “Shikhar Shinganapuracha Shambhu Mahadev”, “Shri Tulajabhavani”, ‘Karaveernivasini Srimahalaxmi’ are worth to study these thoughts.
In search of Marathi Theater’ (Marathi Rangbhoomichya Shodhat) is his researched volume especially devoted to the Marathi Theater. In this book Dr. Dhere deals with the subjects like origin of Marathi Theater, it’s background, developments in Marathi theater, it’s journey from ritual drama to modern drama, contribution of Vishnudas Bhave, Annasaheb Kirloskar, G.B. Deval to Marathi theater. Also present status and scenario of ‘folk urban theater’ (this tern is coined by Dr. Dhere himself) Indian and Western theater (Past and present), Sanskrit plays, Greek tragedies, Marathi folk plays and ritual drama, theater of Tanjavur, Connection of Marathi theater with Karnatka and Andhra, impact of Brecht on Marathi theater, contribution of dramatists like Badal Sarkar, Alkazi in upliftment of Indian theater- are also the areas of Dr. Dhere’s study.
He delves into deeper waters while thinking on all these issues. How the religious rituals and drama are interconnected to each other, how the actor and the audience is obvious in both of them, how reference of ‘here and now’ is also same in both the experiences, what is a relation between the myth and a drama, how various types of medieval folk arts like Dashaavtar, Bhaaruds, Yakshagaan, Tamasha, Gondhal, Kirtan, Laleet play an important role in expression of modern theater- Dr. Dhere deals with variety if subjects. This reveals the expanse of his study.
His view about the interconnections between literature of saint and sages and drama is also another feature of his study. Dr. Dhere explains how drama is involved in devotional thoughts of saints and their expression of devotion. Role of feminine characters played by males is a separate subject of his study. The tradition of playing female characters by a male is dominant till the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Dhere records transformations in Marathi Theater in accordance with this tradition with reference to the history of Indian culture.
He deals in detail with ‘Mahanirvan’, a play written by Satish Alekar, as a representative of today’s modern drama or ‘folk-urban theater’. It is a very good example of his applied critique on drama. He also discovers the origin of the clown in Sanskrit plays with the help of ‘Kurvanji’- a play in south. His vision about folk culture proves aids his studies on drama. His holistic thought about the theater and dramatics right from its origin to current status and scenario draws a line of this evolutionary journey of an extremely effective performing art.
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