Senior artistes bat for promotion of theatre in a big way

GRK Murthy, Gopi Naidu, P Pandurangarao, P Brahmananda Rao and VV Narayana Patrudu
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GRK Murthy, Gopi Naidu, P Pandurangarao, P Brahmananda Rao and VV Narayana Patrudu

Highlights

The Telugu Drama treats April 16 as a festival day as it was declared as ‘Telugu Natakaranga Dinotsavam” by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2007

The Telugu Drama treats April 16 as a festival day as it was declared as 'Telugu Natakaranga Dinotsavam" by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2007.

This decision has been taken to pay respect to 'Navayuga Vaitalikudu', social reformer, writer Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu.

Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu started the first dramatic association in 1880 and he wrote a play titled "Vyavahara Dharma Bodhini" and "Chamatkara Ratnavali" (a translation of William Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors). These two plays were staged by the students of Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu on April 16 in 1880. Hence, the Government of Andhra Pradesh declared April 16 as Telugu Theatre Day in 2007.

Since then the theatre personalities have been celebrating the day just like World Theatre Day. In this connection, 'The Hans India' interacted with some noted theatre personalities to have their opinion on present theatre.

The senior most dramatist and director G. Radha Krishna Murthy said that the Telugu theatre flourished with both Padya Natakam and social drama. Still it is trying to keep up its glory but the drama artistes are not getting fame like in previous days. GRK Murthy felt that some communication is missing between artiste and audience and that gap should be filled by the audience clubs by involving youth into this drama. He appealed to the government to make drama one of the subjects in schools and colleges.

P Panduranga Rao, former Station Director, All India Radio said that merely celebrating the Telugu Theatre Day will not serve the purpose of promoting Telugu drama. Constructive cultural policies should be prepared by the government. He also concurred with GRK Murthy to include drama in the curriculum in schools and colleges. He also expressed that workshops and seminars should be conducted to promote both verse drama as well as social theatre. In addition to Parishads, organisations are needed to come up to give stage for innovative and experimental dramas every month.

Theatre personality VV Narayana Patrudu analysed the present theatre with his 40 years experience and said that youngsters are doing some experiments on stage and it is a welcoming sign for Telugu theatre. But they are not serious about drama and they feel it is not remunerative to continue and hence they are looking forward to join small and silver screens. He requested the government and private sector organisations to restore the culture quota appointment for the theatre personalities to uplift the drama.

Another senior theatre personality Naidu Gopi said that Telugu theatre is lagging behind in the infrastructure for undertaking any innovation. Gopi urged the Andhra Pradesh Film, TV and Theatre Development Corporation to work on construction of fully-equipped theatres at least two—one in rural areas and one in urban locations in each district—to develop the theatre activities. He also requested if the Corporation can also help the association by providing assistance for purchase of modern sound systems and lighting. He felt that this would be the real contribution for developing the Telugu Theatre.

P Brahmananda Rao, the stage actor, director and writer, said that though theatre is flourishing with drama competitions, it is not enough. Good scripts, capable directors and well-informed theatre artistes should join the theatre to stage competitive dramas on par with other State dramas. Brahmananada Rao hoped that the Telugu drama should have a place in the International arena. He felt that there are no promoters for Telugu drama and he requested the media to allot sizable space in main editions and in channels for theatre activities just like sports and cinema news to reach Telugu drama to all over the globe.

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