Theatre of Roots

Redirecting the Modern Indian Stage

Erin B. Mee


6 x 9 inches, 430pp, 24 halftones. 2008

ISBN : 9781905422753 & 9781905422760

Rs  595.00 (HB)     495.00 (PB)
$94.95 (HB)     29.95 (PB)
£50.00 (HB)     16.99 (PB)

Buy (HB)       Buy (PB)

After Independence in 1947, in their efforts to create an ‘Indian’ theatre that was different from the Westernized, colonial theatre, Indian theatre practitioners began returning to their ‘roots’ in classical dance, religious ritual, martial arts, popular entertainment and aesthetic theory. The Theatre of Roots—as this movement was known—was the first conscious effort at creating a body of work for urban audiences combining modern European theatre with traditional Indian performance while maintaining its distinction from both.


By addressing the politics of aesthetics and by challenging the visual practices, performer/spectator relationships, dramaturgical structures and aesthetic goals of colonial performance, the movement offered a strategy for reassessing colonial ideology and culture and for articulating and defining a newly emerging ‘India’. Theatre of Roots presents an in-depth analysis of this movement: its innovations, theories, goals, accomplishments, problems and legacies. 

Erin B. Mee is a theatre director who has worked at the New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and The Magic Theatre and is editor of Drama Contemporary: India.


Theatre And Performance Studies
Complete List
Colonial Studies