Theatre of the Streets

The Jana Natya Manch Experience

Sudhanva Deshpande

Edited by Sudhanva Deshpande

Jana Natya Manch, New Delhi, 2013

182 pages

Price INR 150
Book Club Price INR 112

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On 1 January 1989, Janam was attacked in performance in a working class locality on the outskirts of Delhi. Safdar Hashmi, Janam's brilliant leader, was killed in this attack. This book contains an article by and a lengthy interview with Safdar Hashmi, in which he reflects on the Janam experience.

This books contains writings and interviews by Janam activists, by writers and directors who have worked with Janam (including the legendary Habib Tanvir), and academic researchers. These writings describe Janam's work, reflect on it, provide sharp insights, and raise hard questions.

For anyone interested in theatre and its connection with politics, society, history and culture, this book is a fascinating resource.

Sudhanva Deshpande

Sudhanva Deshpande is a theatre director and actor. He joined Jana Natya Manch in 1987, and has acted in over 4,000 performances of over 80 plays. His articles and essays have appeared in The Drama Review, The Hindu, Frontline, Seminar, Economic and Political Weekly, Udbhavna, Samaj Prabodhan Patrika, among others. He has co-directed two films on the theatre legend Habib Tanvir and his company Naya Theatre. He is the editor of Theatre of the Streets: The Jana Natya Manch Experience (Janam 2007), and co-editor of Our Stage: Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India (Tulika 2008). He has held teaching positions at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Since 1998, he has been Managing Editor, LeftWord Books. He cycles around town.


[A] rich collection of interviews and essays . . . The book answers many questions sceptics and fans have asked about street theatre.