These are two considerations which deserve at least a word in any discussion of the future of the Indian theatre. The first is the rapid development of the cinema as a competitive for prophesied favor. At first, in the early flush of cinematic triumph people—some of whom might have been expected to , know better—prophesies the extinction of the theatre. It is now clear that though here and there, temporarily, the theatre may be affected, the cinema can not hope to replace the stage and elbow it out of existence. Experience in the West has shown that the stage will always be required as a federal studio. For the technique is different and great stage actors have, always, to their disgust, discovered that film acting is at least only second best to them; it cannot mean to them what the stage means. Something is lacking in the human touch. In the theatre heart responds to heart and mind acts on mind in a way unknown to the cinema.
Thus there is no danger of extinction to the theatre. On the other hand, the rivalry of the screen ought to and will put theatre to a new test and give it a new stimulus that may well lead to still higher planes of artistic achievement.
Finally, a word about a national language spoken, written and thought might do for the theatre in India. With the new awakening in social life the need of a common tongue is being increasingly felt. Much work is being done to bring out a common linguistic medium. The day when, it is accepted will be a great day for the Indian theatre, as it will be for all art in the country. But the theatre, because its life blood is spoken word, will gain most. With a common tongue, with a live national consciousness, the theatre will become to its own as definite instrument of national unity reflecting the national mind, interpreting the national heart and dreaming national dreams for the future.
Two things are to be considered when we think of the future of the Indian theatre. The first is the rivalry of cinema. At one time it was thought that the cinema might oust theatre. But now it is admired that the stage must always be there as a feeder for the studio. Besides the great stage actors do not like the inhuman techniques adopted by the cinema. On the other hand, its challenge might make the theatre rise even to greater heights. Secondly, the adoption of a language may do much for the Indian theatre. Such a language is being formed. When adopted, it will enable the stage to keep the cause of national unity by dramatizing the national consciousness.