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By Craig Dionne, Parmita Kapadia (eds.)

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Theatricality, Mediation and Public Space: The Legacy of Parsi Theatre in South Asian Cultural History. PhD dissertation, University of Melbourne, 1999. Worthen, W. B. 5 (Oct. 1998). 1093–107. Yajnik, R. K. The Indian Theatre: Its Origins and its Later Developments under European Influence. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1933. Chapter 2 Bollywood Battles the Bard: The Evolving Relationship between Film and Theater in Shakespeare Wallah Parmita Kapadia S hakespeare Wallah (1965) signifies the uneasy relationship between opposing cultures: Indian and English, whose differences are marked by race, class, religion, and power.

Thus, from the 1870s onward, Parsi theater adopted Urdu/Hindustani as its language of production. In fact, the most productive and well-known period of Parsi theater was when Urdu playwrights like Sheikh Mahmud Ahmed “Raunaq,” Narain Prasad “Betab,” Agha Hashr Kashmiri, and Ahsan Mehdi wrote for it. The use of Indian languages, then, right from the beginning challenged Parsi Shakespeare l 27 the theatrical modernity brought by the West by appropriating the Western plays in Indian languages. Shakespeare in Parsi Theater Prior to Parsi theater, the newly established theater in the Indian metropolis was a private affair of the rich and the educated.

10. Hansen, “Parsi Theatre,” 63. 11. This is not to say that there was no theater prior to that in Bombay. The earliest institution, established around 1776, was the Bombay Theatre located on the Bombay Green. In 1835, the theater was sold to Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy due to increasing debts. After paying off the debts, the balance was deposited in the government account. The theater remained closed for the next ten years. However, the increasing pressure of the public to open a playhouse led the government to allocate the money generated by the sale of the old theater for constructing a new theater.

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