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Journey of women in theatre.


When we think about theatre as a platform we have a clear picture of it as an independent medium of communication. A medium where there is equality and every artist can share their stories and experiences for the growth of the community altogether. But what if we say that this strong and independent medium was not this flexible for women at that time period? Let's discuss the journey of women in theatre as we celebrate womanhood today.

There was a time when women were restricted to come forward in cultural arts. Women weren't able to act on stage or voice their opinion. There was a time when women characters were also played by men. Even though the theatre was a prominent part of communication during history but unfortunately theatre was unfair for women due to traditional norms and practices followed all over the world. As times changed women thrived and strived to earn a position in the world of theatre.

While we discuss the scenario of our nation, It was even more crucial. Women who got attracted to performing art got them to shame as they were considered vulgar and devalued as per the norms and orthodox thoughts. Indian theatre was at its peak while the pre and post-colonial eras as it was a period when people shared their revolutionary thoughts for the betterment of the masses, but still during that time it wasn't easy for women to voice their opinions through the art form.

During the 1970s there occurred a revolutionary movement in the world of theatre that was known as Stree Preksha and also feminist theatre. This movement empowered Indian women to share their stories and own a prominent position in the world of theatre. Women were not only performing on stage but were also writing plays. The stories about hardships faced by the women were shared by women who performed even in remote areas in a form of street plays to generate awareness about women's empowerment and gender equality.


Tun Tun Mukherji, Manjula Padmanabham, Poile Sengupta, and Bharti Sarabhai were the writers of this movement who wrote women-centric plays to reconstruct the idea of women's empowerment and to spread awareness about the hardships faced by women around the nation. Girish Karnad and Vijay Tendulkar were male writers who contributed by writing plays to promote feminism and womanhood.


When we look back at the past, we realize that women have been restricted to conquer their dreams but as the times have changed it's our duty to promote women's participation in performing arts and add to the legacy left by the strong women of theatre in the past.



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