Playwrights discuss relevance of theatre

Two of the world’s most prolific playwrights, David Hare and Girish Karnad, here on Friday discussed their works and debated whether theatre still holds relevance as an art form.

In a programme titled “Stage by Stage,”  award-winning playwright and film-maker David Hare emphasised the differences between television, cinema and theatre. He called theatre “an evening of great conjuring.”

Girish Karnad talked about live performance, observing that “there is some kind of electricity when actors face audiences, which create meanings that are contemporary. “

“The same play could come alive in different ways in different cultural contexts and periods of history,” Hare said. The film-maker also said penning plays is a pleasure for him, insisting that there should be room for  “grown-up plays on grown up subjects.”

Comparing western theatre with that of India, Karnad said: “Tradition of sitting still and quietly during performance is a Western tradition. it is an entirely different audience culture to India. Indian audiences are never quiet, they are always talking.”

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