The classical indian stage as space

From PhalkeFactory

176. No scenery and few props were used in the classical indian theatre. A curtain is held up at the front of the stage ( near the central lamp), covering the two doorways tp the green room, and is lowered as the actors enter, heralded by their themes played ny the musicians seated between the two doorways at the back of the stage). The stage is divided into movable zones and there are conventions, well understood by the audience, of the significance of an actor moving on from one to another. Space as well as time is flexible on the stage and characters may be imagined to move considerable distances without leaving it, entering and leaving houses, passing through streets or across the countryside and so on. More than one group of characters can be on the stage at the same time, but be unseen and unheard by each other because they are in different zones understood to represent distance or intervening trees, walls, etcetra. The absence of scenery further allows the actors to travel indefinite distsnces…the scene, stationery of moving, is described as elaborately as it is felt necessary by the characters in the course of their speeches, esp in lyric verse of songs. Props likewise are often presented only in imagination by description or by handling them in mime, for which a rich vocabulary of gestures is available.

AK Warder Indian Kavya Literature Part 1