CONTENTS:- 1. Natyasastra and India theatre / Radhavallabh Tripathi. 2. Performance according to Natyasastra / C. Rajendran. 3. Play production in ancient India / N. V. P. Unithiri. 4. Two controversial aspects of Bharata's theatre / Radhavallabha Tripathi. 5. Bharata's Natyasastra and the theatric universe of Kalidasa / Radhavallabh Tripathi. 6. Music in Natyasastra / C. Rajendran. 7. Kutiyattam the Sanskrit theatre with a regional idiom / C. Rajendran. 8. Bhasa plays on Kerala's stage / N. P. Unni. 9. Folk elements in classical theatre / Radhavallabh Tripathi. 10. Folk elements in Kerala's Sanskrit theatre / C. Rajendran. 11. Comic relief by non-Vidusaka characters in Kutiyattam / L. S. Rajagopalan. 12. Rajasekhara's contribution to Indian theatre / Radhavallabh Tripathi. 13. Krsnanattam the Sanskrit dance drama of Kerala / K. N. Neelakantan Elayath. 14. Kerala's traditional shadow puppet theatre / T. Vasudevan. 15. Natyadharmi and Lokadharmi / V. Kaladharan. 16. Natyasastra traditions in Bengali theatre / Meera Chakravarty. 17. Natyasastra and the present-day Bharatanatyam tradition / Sucheta Chapekar. 18. Natyasastra and classical dance-an overview / C. Panduranga Bhatta. 19. Elements of the Natyasastra in Yaksagana / G. S. Hegde. 20. The role of Sutradhara in modern theatre / N. R. Gramaprakash.
The term contemporary theatre is used in the present context in a broad sense to include not only classical art forms like Kathakali and Kutiyattam, but even modern experimental theatre. Natyasastra, ascribed to the mythical Bharata, is encyclopaedic in its scope and range. Its authorship, date, and even textual details may be problematic. But there can be no denying of the fact that it represents an Indian attempt to give shape to its own theatrical philosophy which was never lost sight of until the advent of modernity ushered in by colonialism. Hence, we just cannot imagine a genuine Indian theater without a reference to the broad theoritical framework outlined in this extra-ordinarily rich store-house of indigenous theatrical knowledge. Regional art forms like Kutiyattam, Kathakali, Krisnanattam, Yaksagana, Bharatanatyam or even folk forms like the Yatra of Bengal are tied to the Natyasastra through an umbilical chord. For that matter, even modern experimental theatre makes use of the stagecraft of Bharata and concepts like that of the Sutradhara.