Jana Natya Manch

Jana Natya Manch

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Jana Natya Manch was founded in 1973 by a group of Delhi's radical theatre amateurs, who sought to take theatre to the people. It was inspired by the spirit of the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA). Its early plays, though initially designed for the proscenium, were performed on makeshift stages and chaupals in the big and small towns and villages of North India. It also experimented with street skits.

This form of theatre has become a vital cultural tool for workers, revolutionaries and social activists. Street theatre addresses topical events and social phenomenon and takes them straight to peoples' places of work and residence.

Janam's theatre is consciously political and partisan, and sees itself as a part of, and contributing to, the growing democratic movement in the country. It provides robust entertainment and promotes a democratic, secular and scientific consciousness among the people. Janam performs for and mobilizes support for many socio-political causes. It also conducts joint programmes with other cultural groups on a number of issues.

So far this group of self-trained actors has done over 8,500 performances of nearly 70-odd street plays and 15 proscenium plays in about 140 cities in India.