David, Joseph

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DAVID, JOSEPH (Penker ; 1876–1948), Indian playwright and director; leading showman of Bombay, where he was born to a *Bene Israel family. He used the Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi languages with equal facility and was the author of more than 100 plays, among them tragedies and comedies based on religious and mythological themes. For 15 years he was the producer for the Parsi Imperial Theater Company and presented many plays which raised the standard of the Urdu-Hindi stage. In 1931 he wrote the screenplay of India's first full-length talking film, Alam-Ara, with a cast which included Elizer Kolet (also of the Bene Israel) in one of the leading roles.

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