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The Parsi Theater

First Created: July 09, 2005
Page Last Updated: May 09, 2017

The affluent and cultured Zoroastrians (a.k.a. Parsis) settled in Bombay were responsible for providing patronage to a commercial theater movement in India. In 1835, Sir Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy bought The Bombay Theater, which hitherto served as a stage for English plays, and plays in Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi were started that catered to the wealthy Parsi community. The actors also came from Parsi community and were typically amateurs. Another prominent Parsi leader Jagannath Shankershet established the Grant Road Theater in 1846.

By early 1900s the Parsi Theater was a full-fledged industry with full time performers, professional writers, and music troupes. The teams then started building their own theaters. Many believe that the entrepreneurship of Parsis and commercial success of Parsi theater paved way for the burgeoning movie industry in India.

See Also:

  • Zoroastrianism -- Article on the history and traditions of Parsis in India who follow the teachings of Zarathushtra.


Theatrical Arts

A scene from <em>Mrichhakatika </em> play Shambhu Mitra, a great Bengali playwright in 1980Scene from MrichakatikaDancing All Night Long for the Gods at Gundabala
The Stage for a performance of String YakshaganaChhau Dancer Shooting an Arrow During PerformanceFolk Artist as Lord KrishnaDramatist K. V. Subbanna
Chhau Dance --  Masked Dance of Bengal

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