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Title: The role of organisation in political theatre : a study of street-theatre in New Delhi, India
Author: Mahiyaria, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 6815
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis examines the Street-theatre practice in New Delhi, India. With a particular focus on the organisational relationship between political theatre and other forms of political labour, the thesis proposes an original framework for evaluation of political theatre and its efficacy. It challenges the dominant tendency in scholarship to associate political efficacy of theatre with 'change' and emphasises political theatre's capacity to collaborate with, sustain, suffuse and consolidate wider partisan political projects, as significant factors for evaluating its efficacy. The analysis is based on qualitative research including narratives from practitioners, and observation and analysis of contemporary practice. Chapter one reviews the key historical and current debates on political theatre, extending further to evaluate the discourse in the specific context of India, on both political theatre and Street-theatre, and addresses the contributions and shortcomings of existing knowledge. Chapter two discusses the Left organised theatre group Jana Natya Manch and its relationship with the organised Left and its affiliates. This chapter presents an original contribution to scholarship on political theatre by proposing notions of collective production and audience participation that are particular to organised theatre practice. Chapter three and four Introduce the previously under-research Street-theatre practices of non-Left practitioners from University of Delhi college theatre societies and Asmita Theatre Group, with the view to examine their political objectives, potentials, limitations, and challenges faced by them as theatre that is not organised. Chapter five introduces the Right-wing intervention into the field of Street-theatre through the festival 'Udaan', and points at the limitations of formal analysis in view of pliability of the form and its use by diverse political projects. The chapter emphasises the role of organisation in the growth and legitimacy that the Right-wing platform gained in the span of three years between 2016-2019. The findings offer an original approach for discussion of political theatre wherein the concept can on the one hand, transcend the erstwhile association with broadly Left practices, to now include Right-wing theatre as political in its own right, and on the other be discussed in relation to its embeddedness in political organisation, rather than formal characteristics.
Supervisor: Turner, C. ; Tukdeo, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: political theatre ; street theatre ; right wing ; hindutva ; political organisation