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January 14, 1933

The Experimental Theatre presented the Svapnavasavadatta (The Vision of Vasavadatta), by the earliest known Sanskrit dramatist, Bhasa (c. 275-c.335 AD), translated by Pauna Lall and A.G. Sherriff. Lost for more than 1,000 years, 13 plays by Bhasa were discovered in a library in India in 1912. The most famous, Svapnavasavadatta is the story of the sacrifice of King Udayana’s Queen, who stages her own death in a palace fire to free her husband to make a marriage that will save his kingdom. She then returns to the palace secretly to live near her King.

“So far as we are able to ascertain,” the translators wrote, “your production will be the first play of Bhasa’s to be done in modern times.”

Program note

The Years