Wikipedia describes street plays as “Street theater is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are large numbers of people. The actors who perform street theater range from buskers to organised theater companies or groups that want to experiment with performance spaces, or to promote their mainstream work.”
Street theater as a form of messaging is so deep rooted in the Indian folklore can be linked back to a sutradhar or the narrator in Indian puppetry. What is the high point of the nukkad theater, is it is able to connect with the common man, in his territory. It is able to break all social man made barriers of formality In olden times this form was used extensively to spread social messages and more so during times of pre independence era. Now, the youth and some focused groups find it useful to spread social and political messages and to create knowledge amongst the people regarding social issues.
Others highlight caste conflicts or ideas about hygiene and health. Street theater is also used as a means to support literacy amongst villagers. Many dramatic and engrossing plays on environment which share the bountiful relationship of trust and friendship between humans and their natural habitat have been popular throughout across all ages and audiences.
Habib Tanvir and Utpal Dutt used street theater as a political catalyst in the 1940s and the 1950s. Street theater was revived in the 1970s and the movement spread all over the country.
Indian street theater gained momentum to demonstrate the thoughts of common people. Common people, day-to-day life problems and the colors of daily life gained a huge plus in popularizing this art.The street theater is a undeviating, concise and succinct theatrical expression. The objective is to express a particular idea or to portray a significant meaning—a direct, friendly and helpful means of communication.
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