Understanding the Significance of Theatre Magazines and Journals in 1970-80s Mumbai by Analysing the Editorial of ‘Bharatashastra’
‘Rangabhoomi’ (1907 onwards), ‘Natak’, ‘Nandi’, ‘Parikshan’, ‘Natyabhoomi’, ‘Natyadarpan’ (1970s) were some of the magazines and journals dedicated to theatre in Maharashtra in the twentieth century. Mumbai’s amateur theatre group, Sankalp, started a Marathi language monthly called ‘Bharata Shastra’ in September, 1978, addressing the lack of well organized theatre criticism in Maharashtra apart from miscellaneous seminars and lectures.
Celebrating two years of publication, the editorial of Bharata Shastra (September 1980) threw light on the objectives behind the publication of the monthly. “होत असलेल्या नाटकांवर टीका व्हावी, उलटसुलट चर्चा व्हावी, नाटक हा केवळ एक वाङ्मयप्रकार नसून एक प्रयोगसिद्ध कलाविष्कार असल्याकारणाने प्रयोगसमिक्षेला प्राधान्य मिळावं, नाटकाची विविध अंग साक्षेपाने चर्चिली जावी, नटकांमधल्या व्यक्ती आणि संस्थांचा परिचय व्हावा, त्यांच्या समस्या, त्याचे विचार समोर यावे, रंगभूमीचा इतिहास, संहिता आणि तंत्रातल्या वेगवेगळ्या प्रवाहांचा परिचय व्हावा, विश्लेषण
“We felt that – the contemporary plays should be criticized, questioned from various angles; production reviews should be given priority as theatre is not just a literary form but also an experimental work of art; various aspects of theatre should be discussed; theatre personalities and institutions/ organizations should be introduced and their ideas and issues should come to fore; the history of theater, its codes and the different currents in the technique should be introduced and an analytical and comparative study should be made possible.” (Marathi to English translation by ATA)
Analysing the economic and qualitative reasons behind the discontinuation of contemporary theatre magazines and journals as lack of ‘good writers and financial crisis’, the editorial appealed to the writers for contributions and requested readers and stakeholders for financial aid by inviting new subscriptions and advertisers.Understanding the Significance of Theatre Magazines and Journals in 1970-80s Mumbai by Analysing the Editorial of ‘Bharatashastra’
All Courtesy: Anand Gupt Collection/ Alkazi Theatre Archive