Sunday, December 13, 2009

“Tiatr – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

“Tiatr – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

"Tiatr” since the last quarter of the 19th century has been a platform to illustrate the unspoken whilst manifesting the ground reality,

The scripts were well written. The theme or message be it economic, social, religious, political ,satire or comedy was excellent. The efforts put in to put a “Tiatr” was mind boggling some of the scenes, settings etc, were even despite constraints, so meticulously designed that audience were held spell bound during the entire “Tiatr”

Credit goes to those living and dead Konkani playwrights of yester years notably those prior to the Independence of India and until Liberation of Goa . Even in the early years post Liberation and before the advent of TV in Goa in 1982-1983 the “Tiatrs” were of a good order.

It is true that several “Tiatrs” have been staged in the past thirty odd years, but with an exception of a few, many of these “Tiatrs” have either failed to create an impact on audience or they have not left an indelible mark on the audiences as was case with the early “Tiatrs”

It is also true that with the advent of TV the general degradation of moral values and the crass materialism that has set in every sphere of life; the demand for cinema and quality “Tiatrs” have considerable dwindled.

“Tiatr” has not been accorded the status of industry yet and to that extent it has been extremely costly to stage “Tiatrs” that will be well received by the audiences.

It is owing to this that unhealthy competition and commercialization too has crept in. In fact today’s “Tiatr” kow-tow to make them appeal to the audience demands as a mere entertainment or better still an affordable “pass time” event and not so much for its moral.

In the considered view of this writer with the setting up of the “Tiatr” Academy of Goa on 16.2.2008 for the first time the opportunity has come to the “Tiatr” fraternity to make the best use of the Academy to enrich “Tiatr”.

However a close reading between the lines of the Constitution of the TAG as notified clearly indicates that while today the emphasis of “Tiatr” is given more specifically to “Tiatr” with scripts written in the Roman/English script it is obvious that by the mid of next decade the emphasis will be on those scripts written in
“ Konkani” ( which means written in the official language of the State notified on 4/2/1987 i.e. in the “devanagari “ script.

Keeping this in mind it is of utmost importance that if the “Tiatr” Academy of Goa should look into the interests of “Tiatr” in the scripts written in Roman/English there is much that remains to be done.

To understand this look at the case of Konkani films like Nirmon Amchem Noxib even to this day there could be Houseful audiences if the same are screened. But at the same time Konkani films like "Alisha" and others screened at the International Film Festival of India and that have won national and international awards do not find any audiences when screened?

Therefore our pursuit for official recognition to Konkani in Roman script needs to be overemphasized, as it is already too late 23 years have passed by.

The Government understands the language of “satyagraha” “fast unto death” as in the recent case of demand for carving out a State of Telangana. Hence we need to pursue this ideal immediately to achieve our objectives.

Here are a few other areas that needs to be touched into .

The Marathi theatre has excelled very well since the middle of the last century .

There are innumerable workshops being conducted, on various aspects of theatre be it in a) set designing, b) role of actor c) costumes, d) make up, e) special effects viz pyrothechnics, f) hair stylist, g) theatre critics, h) script writers, i) musician j) acoustics, k) publicity, l) event management etc etc etc . This is almost throughout the year in the neigbouring state of Maharashtra.

This has not happened in the case of “Tiatr” though some feeble attempts have been made in the recent past. Unless we enthuse those that venture into the field of “Tiatr” we cannot achieve much.

Is it not necessary that we have “Tiatr” reviews critical comments as a matter of routine? Does it suffice merely if one records a “Houseful” “century” box office records?
Is it not necessary that we fine tune our dress code to make the actors more presentable especially before family audiences?
Is it not necessary that we refine some of our scripts to find acceptance with the upper strata and elite of society, rather than restrict it to a few?
Some of our “Tiatrs” have been provocative to a point that smacks of defamation of public oriented persons or institutions ot of persons in politics..

There have been instances in the past that near defamatory performances have resulted in some of the Konkani playwrights getting on the wrong side of law?

True all this may attract guffaws of laughter from an audience disillusioned with the present day life yet this unique and time tested performing art could not be permitted to throw order and decorum to the winds.

There are several instances where the audiences the “Tiatr” is intended to attract is unclear as a result the “Tiatr” dies an unnatural death.

With event management, publicity becoming a full fledged art “Tiatr” should utilize these services to advance their shows.

Why do we need to restrict our “Tiatrs” only to city halls ---can we not adopt stage settings with backdrops of historical places, heritage sites or ecological settings ?

Can the “Tiatr” fraternity not hold mega events to showcase and expose the rich talent amongst their fraternity?

Too much emphasis has been added on child prodigies. It must be remembered that a child should be allowed to have its freedom to enjoy its childhood and not moulded to surrender to the demands of stage craft all through.

There is no documentation of “Tiatrs” not even of those that have contributed to the evolution of “Tiatr” . It is here that one needs to lay emphasis.

Finally our endeavour should be to ensure that sooner than later “Tiatr” should be accorded the status of industry and those entering this industry should attract full time employment and not as most do it at present as a part time vocation.

As we celebrate the 138th birth anniversary of Joao Agostinho Fernandes "Pai Tiatrist" on 14th December 2009 let the "Tiatr" fraternity give a solemn pledge to work to pursue these issues.

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1 comment:

  1. Nice posting. Do you know about these Devanagari books?




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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.