1997 - 9 Lives
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Notes on Proscriptions and Manners
Janadas Devan

There you have it, in black and white. No one can say that the government did not lay its cards on the table: Forum Theatre is scriptless; it makes possible the emrgence of unstructured voices' and that makes it difficult for the licensing authority to monitor performances. Forum Theatre, in other words, is objectionable because it is a form which manifests difference.

Unfortunately for Forum Theatre, there was no Palestrina in sight to convince the authorities that this instance of polyphony, no more than the other, was not threatening in the least; that the authorities could in fact have used the form, like the Church did Palestrina, for its own purpose. But the very suggestion of difference—""scriptless"" performances, ""spontaneous audience participation""—that alone was enough to set the alarm bells ringing.

Some things simply do not change.