A Fulbright scholar will visit West Virginia University to provide an overview of India’s vast theatrical traditions. Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri, a professor of English at Gauhati University, will speak on “Modern Indian Theaters – Genesis and Evolution” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Bloch Hall, 200A Creative Arts Center.

Beginning with one of the world’s earliest treatises on theater, “Natyashastra,” Chaudhuri will touch on the vast and inclusive typology of early Indian theatre – Sanskrit drama and classical Indian dance, folk and regional performance traditions like the Tamasha, Nautanki, Ankiya Nat, Yakshagaan and puppet theatre.

She will then move on to modern Indian theatre, addressing issues of modernity, western realism and post-coloniality. Chaudhuri will discuss India’s national and ethnic theatres and emerging traditions like street theatre, activist theater, and mobile theatre.

At Gauhati University, Chaudhuri teaches and supervises research in drama and theater studies. A widely published academic, she also researches and writes scripts for television documentaries and is associated with professional theatre groups. Her Fulbright research project looks at Indian and United States theatre spaces that showcase film and life theatrical performance and the relative cultures of viewership in both countries.

“This is another way in which the Fulbright Scholars Program can meet the university’s diversity goal,” said George M. Lies, WVU Fulbright Campus Representative with the WVU Office of International Programs. “We had the expertise of Jay Malarcher to help us make this connection.”

Malarcher, who completed a Fulbright Scholar experience in Croatia, notes that “The theatre of India is one of the richest and most influential traditions in the arts of theater, puppetry, and dance. I am overjoyed that we have such a distinguished scholar visiting us to present this world to our students. It is material to be explored, savored, and celebrated.”

Chaudhuri’s lecture is sponsored by WVU International Programs and the School of Theatre & Dance and is free and open to the public.



CONTACT: David Welsh, WVU College of Creative Arts
304-293-3397; David.Welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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