Amrit Bhave (1823-1901) is considered to be the pioneer of
Modern Marathi Drama. His first play 'Seetaswayamwarakhyan'
was performed at Sangali in 1843, under the patronage of the
prince of Sangli, Chintamanrao Patwardhan.
It is noted that Patwardhan saw a Kannada "Bhagvata"
play around 1842, and asked Bhave to prepare a Marathi play
on those lines.
Barely in his twenties, Bhave wrote
'Seetaswayamwarakhyan',composed its music,directed the play,made
costumes and other props, and ofcourse acted in it along with
a group of young men at Sangli.
This play was thus partially derived
from the Kannada'Bhagvata' but made more refined by minimising
the 'vulgar' and 'popular' elements. Historian critics have
also traced the influence of other folk forms like the lalit
and dashavatar on Bhave's play.
Natya Sanshodhan Mandir
1894, late Dattatray
Atmaram Phatak (Dadasaheb), along with
a few of his interested fellow-students, set up
a drama group in their high school, which was
then held in a building named Vishrambag Wada.
They named the group “Students Social
Club”. Using English names for such groups
was then perhaps in vogue. Then Vishrambag Wada
housed a Government High School which is towards
the north of Shanicha Par and the building is
used as a police station and a couple of Govt.
offices these days.
Club soon hired a big room in a ‘wada' owned by
one Mr. Bhusari. The room was near the Government
School in Budhwar Peth, and the room was hired for
drama rehearsals. In 1985, in the evening of Dassehara
festival, the students put up performances of two
short plays, 1 st Act of “HAMLET”
and “KRISHNA KRUTYA PRADEEP', an
act written by a young enthusiastic member-Late
Gopalrao Wad's play was based on a mythological
story. The Club had begun its activities with great
enthusiasm, with the help of home-made costumes,
settings, curtains and borrowed kerosene lamps.
The traditional “sutradhar and nati”
(comperer and main actress) scene characterized
the performance. The roles of ‘sutradhar and
nati were respectively performed by late Ramchandra
Narayan Parad and Dadasaheb Phatak.... more