Modern play-writing in Punjabi language began in 1913, the credit of which goes to Mrs. Nora Richards. Though the maturing turn to Punjabi Theater came about in 1936 to which playwright N. L. Nanda made a significant contribution.

In those days the plays used to be mainly performed in colleges; the plays "DULHAN", "KARAMAT", "DEENA KI BAARAT" being the favourite choices. Among the others were Balbir Singh's "YUVARAJ", Santsingh's "WARIS", Kartar Singh Duggal's "UPARANI MANZIL" and Gurudutt Sondhi's "SUBHADRA". In 1919 a magazine devoted to Punjabi Theater began its publication and was instrumental in bringing a new consciousness among the Punjabi people about the drama. The famous playwright Balwant Gargi has written plays for Punjabi Theater inspired by the symbolism of Henrik Ibsen. Prominent among this playwright's plays are "LOHAKUT", "KUARI TEETI", and "KANK DI BALLI".

One must make a special note of Kartar Singh Duggal's plays "DEEVA" and "ALLAH MEGH DE". Surjitsingh Shethi's "DOOR BAHUT DOOR" and " Gurudayalsingh Phool's "BANK" were also successful village and also in the streets of many towns and cities. In Patiala training in dramatics is given at the university level and every year a new crop of actors, directors and other artists graduate from there.

A Note

The information presented here in respect of the Punjabi Theatre has been gathered from available sources. It has been like an attempt to gather pearls from the ocean. It is possible that some happenings, names of some dramas and dramatists and drama artists may have been left out. For our lack of knowledge we seek your forgiveness and at the same time request the experts in this field to draw our attention to any errors or mistakes by writing to us the correct details. We assure you such corrections will be promptly carried out.

Further the names of dramas, playwrights and drama artists who are listed here are not in any order of priority of their qualities or achievements but only with a view to present the information as it has been gathered.

Lastly we once again request you to send in your suggestions, information etc. in respect of Punjabi dramas and thereby enrich this humble record of the Punjabi Theatre.


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