A Theatre for all: Sittrarangam, The Small Theatre Madras


A leading expert’s feedback

‘The Small Theatre (Tamil Sittrarangam) is a chamber auditorium specially designed for Indian performing arts. Based on rural architecture, it provides a congenial atmosphere for traditional performers of dance, music and folk arts, and their audience alike.’

From the introductory note jointly published by
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
The Government of Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation (TTDC)


"Beautifully and very imaginatively conceived. India needs theatres of this kind in every village."

Goverdhan Panchal
Professor of Theatre Architecture
National School of Drama in New Delhi

Sittrarangam is discussed in the chapter on Indian theatre architecture, pp. 18-19, in:
The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre edited by Ananda Lal (New Delhi 2004):
Consists of 750 entries, encompassing forms and personalities across India geographically and historically, in twenty-two languages, according to their contribution to the tradition. This work includes around 270 black and white illustrations that complement the entries written by specialists and luminaries of the Indian theatre scene.

Search this publication in a library near you via Worldcat.org >>



Sittrarangam - the small theatre Madras
by Ludwig Pesch
with a Foreword by Himanshu Burte

2nd revised edition: eka.grata publications, Amsterdam 2002

For contact details please visit www.carnaticstudent.org

ISBN 90 75785 03 8

89 pages
3 colour plates (cover photograph, 2 digital graphic representations for the floor plan of the theatre on the back cover)
15 b/w plates
Size: 25,7 cm x 19 cm
Weight: 248 g


1 Introduction
2 A small theatre for Chennai
3 A theatre for all
4 Historical and social aspects of Indian performing arts
5 Access to the living arts
6 Sittrarangam and traditional Indian theatre architecture
7 Sittrarangam: model for a facility serving cultural tourism
8 About the plates and their context
Plate 1 Open-air stage (‘Tiger Cave’) near Mamallapuram
Plate 2 Kuttambalam stage (Irinjalakuda / Kerala)
Plate 3 Interior of Sittrarangam (Island Grounds / Chennai)
Plates 4, 5 and 6 Sittrarangam: phases of construction
Plate 7 A South Indian vocal recital by Mani Krishnaswamy
Plate 8 A leather shadow play by S. Seethalakshmi
Plates 9 and 10 Dance performances by Archita and Satyajit
Plate 11 Living theatre: Terukkuttu and Kattaikkuttu
Plates 12, 13, 14 and 15 The Sittrarangam experience
Appendix 1 A theatre according to the Natya Shastra in the IIT Madras
Appendix 2 Postscript to the IIT project description
Appendix 3 In search of an Indian theatre by Ludwig Pesch
Appendix 4 A Chamber Theatre for the Performing Arts
Appendix 5 Personal comments (Visitors’ Book 1987, 1988)
About the author