Indian playwrights News
Satyadev Dubey (1936-2011): Tribute to a legend
He was controversial, candid and had a healthy disregard for anything colonial in theatre. The death of Satyadev Dubey has sadly brought the curtains down on an era of fierce Indianness on stage
Mumbai-based director, actor, playwright, screen writer and filmmaker Satyadev Dubey was best known for his play Andha Yug – a comment on the futility of war – by Dharamvir Bharti, which he staged in 1962. It is said that Dubey, who was born in Bilaspur in present day Chhattisgarh in 1936, had moved to Mumbai to become a cricketer. But he ended up in theatre. Director Bhanu Bharti, who produced Andha Yug, told IANS: “He was a remarkable man because he had carved a space for himself on the Marathi stage despite not being a Maharashtrian. He singlehandedly started a new theatre movement.” Critics say that Dubey courted controversy with his criticism of English theatre in India in the 1960s and ’70s, saying it was a colonial legacy and only the elite took part in it. However, he later switched to English theatre himself when he felt that the medium had freed itself from the baggage of British and American influence and English had developed and Indian idiom on stage. Click here to read more
Film and theatre veteran Satyadev Dubey passes away
In a big loss for Indian theatre, well-known playwright and director Satyadev Dubey passed away here Sunday after several months of illness. He was 75. Dubey, who had slipped into coma after suffering a massive epileptic attack, had been in hospital since September, family friends said. He died at around 12.30pm Sunday. “He had been in hospital since he slipped into coma in September and died in coma. His last rites will be conducted this evening at Dadar crematorium (in south central Mumbai),” said Vinod Tharani, a family friend. Dubey was known for plays like Pagla Ghoda, Adhey Ahdure and Evam Indrajit, but one of his most famous productions was Andha Yug. Born in Bilaspur, now in Chhattisgarh, in 1936, Dubey moved to Mumbai aiming to become a cricketer but ended up joining the Theatre Unit run by Ebrahim Alkazi, which also ran a school for many budding artistes. When Alkazi left for Delhi to head the National School of Drama, he took over the Theatre Unit and went on to produce many important plays. He produced, Girish Karnad’s first play Yayati, and also his noted play Hayavadana and many others. He is credited with staging Dharmavir Bharati’s Andha Yug, a play that was written for radio. Dubey saw its potential and sent it across to Alkazi at the National School of Drama. He has made two short films, Aparichay Ke Vindhachal (1965) and Tongue in Cheek (1968), and also directed a Marathi feature film, Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe in 1971, based on Vijay Tendulkar’s play, which in turn is based on Friedrich Durrenmatt’s story Die Panne. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1971. He also won the 1978 National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Shyam Benegal’s Bhumika and 1980 Filmfare Best Dialogue Award for Junoon. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours.
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