Does Playback Theatre Act as Alternative Media in a Pluralistic Indian Society - a Descriptive Study

By: Niharika Puttige  

With just a simple yet beautiful piece of coloured fabric and words that make an impact, playback theatre creates magic on the stage and within the lives witnessing it. The notion of theatre as alternative media is contemporary on its own, as it was considered to be just a form of entertainment by a large part of the population. Playback theatre has played a role in bringing about social movements and political protests. This paper discerns the power of playback theatre and interprets its influence on people’s thoughts. Opening the theatre world into being considered not just as an entertainment factor, but providing a stage for social realizations, reforms, and a news source. Attempting to answer, whether Playback theatre has an influence in shaping thoughts and if alternative media can be considered as a source of news. Quantitative methods are used to analyze the data collected through survey method. One hundred theatre enthusiasts were specifically chosen as the sample size to answer a descriptive questionnaire on the concepts of alternative media and playback theater. The questionnaire was distributed only in the city of Bangalore, in the state of Karnataka. Secondary data was collected for information anenting to the theatre scene in other parts of the country. The paper in particular is framed around a fairly new topic and there hasn’t been much research done on the same. Future scope on this field of study is as vast as it is newfangled and contemporary.

Alternative Media, Playback Theatre, Pluralistic Society, Indian Society, Socio-Political
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Niharika Puttige

Department of Media Studies, India