Welcome to the Stigmas of the Tamil Stage
website. The book that gives this site its name is an ethnographic study
of the lives of artists who perform a genre of South Indian theater known
as "Special Drama." Special Drama is a contemporary theatrical form begun
in the late 19th century and still very much alive today. (To see some of
the extant early broadsheets that advertised these dramas between 1891-1942,
click on drama notices.) Special Drama is
performed exclusively in the Tamil language, the official language of the
southern Indian state of Tamilnadu.
You can also view
video clips of several comedy acts analysed in the book by downloading them
here. Click on the appropriate size and speed for your computer connection
(modem, dsl, or full digital format), and the clip will download onto your
computer. The performances are in Tamil (subtitles still to come...), and
English translations are available in Chapters 4, 5, & 6 of the book,
wherein each performance is contextualized and discussed.
Susan Seizer is the
author (and amateur videographer) responsible for this project. When not
pursuing theater in India she can be found teaching communication & culture
Thanks for visiting the site. Your comments
Information about Susan Seizer's syllabi can
be found here.