Telugu theatre needs young blood, feels BM Reddy

A scene from a play
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A scene from a play 

Highlights

Says participation in theatre-related activities should be made compulsory in schools and colleges

Vijayawada: Discipline, hard work, dedication are the main qualities of Basani Mar Reddy, popular in the theatre world as BM Reddy.

Though Reddy is 82-year-old, his thoughts and vision are very young and competing with the present theatre. All his plays and playlets have received many awards and appreciations from the drama critics.

'The Hans India' had a conversation with BM Reddy to learn about his life experiences.

"Though I was born in a village in Warangal district, I did my schooling and college education in Hyderabad. When I was studying in 9 class IX, I directed and acted in 'Vapas' play written by DV Narasaraju. That was my entry into theatre. After college education, I started my own organisation in Warangal and started staging dramas under the guidance of Chatla Sreeramulu. 'Vichitra Jeevulu', 'Panjaram', Nijam', 'Maro Mohenjo Daro' plays were staged during that period," Reddy said telling about his early theatre days.

BM Reddy was born in 1939 to Prakash Reddy and Agnessamma near Warangal. He was a voracious reader. He used to read many Telugu and English books to acquire command on literature. In his opinion theatre people should have knowledge in literature to have a perfect vision about the scene.

Reddy is not only an artiste but also a farmer and social worker. As a farmer, he created a world record by producing cotton and received a national award. Reddy is also a social worker and presently he is holding president post for Bala Vikasa Social Service Society based in Warangal, Telangana State. It is a voluntary and non-profit organisation working for the development of rural poor for the past 40 years. The organisation works in the area of education & literacy, rural development & poverty alleviation, women's development & empowerment etc. At the age of 82 also, Reddy is still discharging his duties efficiently.

"I was in the construction field from 1991 to 2001. From 2001 onwards I was actively participating in theatre activities by producing dramas continuously. We produced plays like "Rana Pratap", 'OM', Rani Rudrama', 'Veta', 'Kotta Sainyam', 'Alexander', Talupu', Gadi', 'Jeevana vedam' and now 'Kalaneta'. All these dramas were well received by the audience and won a number of awards. We have adopted Veturi Sundararammuthy's radio play 'Srikakulam Chinnadi' to stage and received good reports. I travel with Akella on my theatre journeys. Akella and I went to Kolkata to study the life of Mother Teresa. 'Amruta Vani' organisation came forward to produce Mother Teresa drama. Since it involved a number of artistes and technical issues, we could stage this play only at twelve places. Appajosyula Foundation asked us to stage our play 'Srinadha' at 10 centres of the United States. We are very much thankful to Satyanarayana for his esteemed help in this regard," he said.

Reddy opined that young blood should be injected to Telugu theatre for future survival and proper training to be given to them. He also said the government should take necessary measures to develop this live art duly providing employment to the desired artistes and participation in theatre-related activities should be made compulsory in schools and colleges. Reddy also expressed that talented artistes are available in our theatre also but they should be encouraged properly to make them active.

Reddy was honoured by many cultural organisations and was nominated as jury member for Nandi Natakostavalu and also member for children plays festival being organised by Sangeet Nataka Academy.

While concluding his conversation, Reddy expressed his gratitude to his co-artistes, technicians and also his wife Suseela and other family members for his success in the drama field.

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