Understanding Literature

Interview with Professor Manoj Bhise

TECODH, 15 October 2007,

Professor Manoj Bhise is one of the well-known actors in the state of Maharashtra, India. He has been a Senior Grade

Drama Artist of ‘All India Radio.’ Dr. Manoj Bhise has also acted in television serials, Education Media Research Center (Educational T.V). In India, he has been conducting workshops on acting, directing, personality developments, voice culture, interview techniques, presentation skills, and communication skills. The play which gave him real name and fame is ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’, which is a mile stone in Maharati literature and drama. Recently, he has experimented with teachers with the underline statement that ‘A good Teacher is a good Actor.’

Q: In order to start, we would like to have a brief background of your academic life.

I have authored several books and articles on literature in general and on drama in particular, and have acted in not less than 30 plays that include experimental theater and professional theater. I have translated more than 300 plays. I have also acted and directed quite a few English plays mainly with my students of M.A. English literature… and my specialty is drama.

Q: Tell us in brief what is your understanding of literature? Literature is the mirror of the society. It is in fact a reflection of whatever is happening or whatever has happened.

Q: How would you define drama? Well, drama is a performing art. Also it is a composite art and teamwork. Many individuals are responsible to make it happen, for instance, the playwright, director, actor, musician, set designer, light designer, operator, and sound operator, and above all the audience. So, with the help of all these, drama comes to life.

Q:Where and when drama was originated? Drama, as a form of literature came into existence somewhere in 14/15 century, and basically it was the drama of morality, and it used to take place in church yard. The main theme was to show the difference between good and bad deeds, virtues and vices. Drama began in England, however, the originality can be traced in all countries somewhere around the same time.

Q: What are the types of drama? Mainly, tragedy and comedy. Under tragedy as a category, we have melodrama which means a pathetic situation is created to make audience cry. We have pure tragedy, tragic comedy, comic tragedy, problem plays, etc.

Q: In this regard, can you explain the difference between tragic comedy and comic tragedy? See, tragic comedy means a play begins on the note of tragedy and ends on a comic note, and comic tragedy means a play begins on the note of comedy and ends on a tragic note. With respect to comedy, as another major part of drama, we have pure comedies, farce, blue comedy, black comedy, and burlesque.

Q: What are the main elements in drama? We have plot, structure, story, unity of time, unity of place, unity of manner, characters, climaxes, etc.

Q: Finally, what is the relationship between opera and drama? Opera is a kind of ancient folk form of drama. As some people believe, folk drama or opera was the original drama. The very purpose of opera or folk drama was to celebrate the seasons. This is also called as a festive drama. The villagers are celebrating the change in the seasons and celebrating the festive with music, song, etc., with a loud tone. In fact, the reformed version of the folk drama is opera. In this drama everything i.e. music, acting, is projected.

Q: Thanks indeed for giving us this opportunity to have your interview. I am also thankful to TECODH or Online Thinker and the team who manages it.

TECODH (Pune, 15 October 2007).

Note:  Dr. Manoj Bhise passed away in Pune (2012) due to heart attack, at the age of 58.

© www.onlinethinker.org/All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without referring to the source  (TECODH). The views, conclusions, and suggestions expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of TECODH.

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