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. The performances are in Tamil, and English translations are available in Chapters 4, 5, & 6 of the book, wherein each performance is transcribed, 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 anthropology at Indiana University.
Thanks for visiting the site. Your comments are welcome.