Stigmas Of The Tamil Stage: An Ethnography Of Special Drama Artists In South India
Susan SeizerISBN: 0822334437;
Book DescriptionA study of the lives of popular theater artists, Stigmas of the Tamil Stage is the first in-depth study of Special Drama, a genre of performance unique to the southernmost Indian state of Tamilnadu. Held in towns and villages throughout the region, Special Drama performances last from 10 p.m. until dawn. There are no theatrical troupes in Special Drama; individual artists are contracted "specially" for each event. The first two hours of each performance are filled with the kind of bawdy, improvisational comedy that is the primary focus of this study; the remaining hours present more markedly staid dramatic treatments of myth and history. Special Drama artists themselves are of all ages, castes, and ethnic and religious affiliations; the one common denominator in their lives is their lower class status. Artists regularly speak of how poverty compelled their entrance into the field. Special Drama is looked down upon by middle- and upper-class Indians as too popular,...
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