The book survey the growth of Bengali theatre from its beginnings a hundred and fifty years ago to the present day. In tracing the development it describes the influences the Bengali theatre has been subject to and the mileu in which it was born and has grown to its present proportions. Persons and personalities, playhouses and playwrights, actors and directors are some of the subjects dealt with.
KIRONMOY RAHA has been a habitual playgoer and observer of Bengali theatre four decades. Author of the book Bengali Cinema he writes for many periodicals and newspapers mainly on the theatre and the cinema. He has translated a few plays from Bengali into English including one by Badal Sircar
A little more than fifteen years have passed since this brief history of Bengali Theatre was written in 1976-77. It was felt by the National Book trust, India that the book now needed updating. While doing so I took the opportunity to revise the text, correct errors that had crept in, enlarge and rewrite a few chapters. A few photographs of recent productions have been included.
I am thankful to Shri Bishnu Basu for his many helpful suggestions and assistance in cross checking facts. He has also updated the map indicating the new play-houses that have come up.
I am grateful to Shri Ananda Lal, Shri Samik Ban-dopadhay and Shri Dharani Ghosh for discussing different aspects of contemporary Bengali Theatre, besides giving me information that I needed about plays and production.
The second edition of the book was publication less than a decade ago. In updating this brief history of Bengali theatre I decided to add a new chapter instead of revising earlier ones since the period between the two edition was not long enough to merit additions and changes.
In the new chapter, updating has been done. Besides it indicates some trends one notices in contemporary Bengali theatre. These photographs have been added.
I am very grateful to Shri Ananda Lal and Shri Kumar Roy for sparing time to discuss with me various aspects of contemporary Bengali theatre.
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