Early Modern Theatre on Indian Screens by Dr. Varsha Panjwani

Speaker: Dr. Varsha Panjwani, University of York, UK. Title: Early Modern Theatre on Indian Screens


Film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays in India have recently enjoyed scholarly consideration. Poonam Trivedi and Dennis Bartholomeusz’s India's Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation and Performance (2005), and Craig Dionne and Parmita Kapadia’s Bollywood Shakespeares (2014) area significant contribution to this field. However, Indian productions influenced by the plays of Shakespeare’s contemporaries such as Marlowe, Webster, and Middleton have not received the critical attention that they deserve. Moreover, very little research has been done on the way in whichthe material conditions and conventions of sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Renaissance theatre as a whole have inspired Indian film-makers to find alternatives to mainstream cinema while adapting these plays for the screen.I will use specific case studies in which Indian films engage with either Shakespeare’s contemporaries or early modern theatre as a whole, and argue that these examples challenge both Shakespeare's cultural dominance and the conventions of mainstream cinema. My talk will examine the practical and political ramifications of adopting a more holistic and networked approach to studying Renaissance drama in India. I will also use this talk as a springboard to detail my current and future researchprojects.

About the Speaker:.

Dr.Varsha Panjwani is a Lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York, UK. She teaches BA and MA courses in Writing, Directing and Performance. Her research focuses on the collaborative process of drama writing and production c.1570-1770, and studies the actual mechanics or the working practices of collaborating playwrights, the makeup of collaborative teams, the rehearsal processes of collaborative plays, and the marketing of collaborative drama by actingcompanies and celebrity actors. She is currently working on a book project, ‘Performing Renaissance Drama: Collaboration versus Shakespeare’.


Event Date: 
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 - 3:00pm
Seminar Hall, Department of HSS
IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai