Marathi Tamasha is a folk theater form of Maharashtra
, similar to the Jatra
of West Bengal
. A Marathi tamasha is a form of social commentary. This has its roots in the performances presented by members of certain hereditary trades, such as the barbers, dhobi, potter, and the oil millers, characterized by song, dance and mimicry called Khel Tamasha. Various roles, both on and offstage were played traditionally by members of particular professions. Lalit, another theater form also inspired the evolution of Tamasha. The composer is the proprietor of Tamasha and is accompanied by a group of musicians.
Instruments that are used traditionally for Tamasha are the dholki, Daf, ektara and an iron triangle. Next to the composer, the two most important members of the performance are the farceur and the dancers. The plays were generally based on mythological, pseudo-historical and social themes.
The Tamasha has great ethnic appeal and is characterized by colorful music and dance. At present, modern themes are also chosen along with traditional ones for presentation.