– By Dr. Sudheendra Sharma

Prof. Dr. Sudheendra Sharma is a renowned theatre artist and has served as a faculty of Drama as well as the Head of the Dept. of Performing Arts, Bangalore University. He has also served as a Member and Chairman, Board of Studies; Board of Examiners at several Universities. He is the Founder Editor of Kalaaswaada- a monthly journal with articles focusing on Performing Arts. Dr. Sharma has directed many Dramas, acted in serials like Mukta, Maha parva and many more on small screen; delivered lectures in India and Abroad. 

Excerpts

Dr. Sudheendra Sharma, presented a lecture on Evolution of Theatre in Vanamala’s September programme. The session was immensely informative and thought-provoking. Starting from the Greek theatre which is the oldest evident structure, Dr. Sharma traced the growth and development of theatre through the ages. Dr. Sharma mentioned that Greece, Egypt, China and India are the four civilizations with the longest history of theatre.

Indian theatre has its roots in Bharata’s Natyashastra and is also influenced by Greek theatre. Though there are many differences in the way plays are performed in different civilizations, the bottom-line is the same- a conflict between good and evil, with good ultimately triumphing over evil. It was interesting to note the extent of influence of Greek theatre on Indian theatre today. The words “comedy”, “tragedy” and the concept of chorus were born in Greece. Explaining the meaning of each of these words in detail and why a comedy referred to something happy and a tragedy referred to something sad, Dr. Sharma also expounded the structure of a play according to Aristotle, the Greek philosopher. The lecture went on to cover Indian theatre in detail and explored the acoustics of many theatre performance venues. Dr. Sharma mentioned some interesting and fascinating facts about theatres in India, Japan, Greece and other places in the world. The lecture was followed by a very long interaction session and left the audience thirsty for more sessions by this great artist and speaker!