Bangalore International Centre had arranged a talk on “Fiction Vs. History: The Writing Of Historical Drama” by Prof. Douglas Huff, Eminent American Playwright & Professor, GustavusAdolphus, a premier liberal arts college in Minnesota, on Thursday, 28th April, 2016 at 6.30 PM. The talk was chaired and moderated by Mr. PrakashBelawadi, Actor, Writer, Director and Teacher for Stage, Television and Cinema.
In a wide-ranging talk Prof. Huff talked about what is considered to be “historical truth” and the liberties a playwright can and ought to take in utilizing the same for writing a historical play. He was clear that historical dramas cannot be always totally identical to historical facts. Critics finding faults with variations from “facts” are incorrect, in as much as a historical play not exactly an academic research. Very often it is an interpretation of the playwright as to what might have happened or could have happened and an exploration of the mind of the players.
Agreeing with him, PrakashBelawadi, who moderated the discussion with wit and humour, pointed out that there are, however, several broad lines which no playwright can perhaps not cross. As an illustration, he pointed out that while there are several interpretations by authors and playwrights about Ramayana, none of them could suggest that Sita did not accompany Rama when he went into exile!! The entire appreciative audience erupted with laughter.