Interrogating Social Biases
Radha Chakravarty
STAGING RESISTANCE: PLAYS BY WOMEN IN TRANSLATION by Tutun Mukherjee Oxford University Press, 2006, 552 pp., 595
January 2006, volume 30, No 1

While fiction, autobiography and poetry by Indian women have received considerable critical attention in recent years, women’s drama has remained a relatively neglected area. Staging Resistance seeks to redress this lacuna, foregrounding the contribution of women playwrights to the development of a subversive “womanist dramaturgy” in India. Consisting of eighteen short plays in ten different languages, this anthology seeks to demonstrate the versatility of the selected dramatists, as well as their shared preoccupations. The accent, as the title suggests, is on resistance and interrogation of social biases against women; but there is also an attempt to highlight technical innovation and formal experiment. The useful introduction by editor Tutun Mukherjee outlines broad trends within contemporary Indian theatre, and women’s place within this discourse. In addition, each linguistic-literary segment has a separate preface that places the women writers in question within the theatrical traditions of their own respective languages.

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