Overview for The Theatre of Conscience
The Palace of Shadows (Chhayar Prashad; set in the decadence of the Mauryan Empire during the times of Bindusar and the scripture-toting Brahmans) and The Tale of Hekim-shaheb (Galpo Hekimshaheb; set in nineteenth-century Bengal against the backdrop of the Permanent Settlement Act and the revenue-extracting British and exploitative zamindars, talukdars and chepattanidars), cast in the genre of the historical play, are addressed from within the crisis of our times--the rise of religious fundamentalism, corruption and misrule. Honey From a Broken Hive (Chak Bhanga Modhu; written during the crisis-ridden period of the Naxal Movement in Bengal) addresses a crisis of another kind-of representation. Chance news of a man dying of snakebite at the Ojha's house in a village in the Sunderbans triggered off the writing of this play in which Manoj Mitra shows violence within a community of extreme poverty as erupting from forces that cannot be contained within an ideology or a rationalized will to act. This volume also contains a detailed introduction by the translator and an indepth interview with the playwright.
Manoj Mitra (Author)
Manoj Mitra has written about 70 plays and filmscripts and is famous for his lead roles in film by Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha, Basu Chatterjee and other. He has been Sisir Kumar Bhaduri Professor of Drama at Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta. He was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in 1980 for Banchharamer Began (written by him and directed by Tapan his overall contribution to theatre. Manoj Mitra heads the theatre group Sundaram and lives and works in Calcutta.