All for the sake of theatre
Despite completing two decades of existence, cultural organisation Rasaranjani continues to struggle to keep theatre tradition alive. Popular poet,...
Despite completing two decades of existence, cultural organisation Rasaranjani continues to struggle to keep theatre tradition alive. Popular poet, writer and bureaucrat who is presently the advisor of the state cultural affairs department and founder President of Rasaranjani KV Ramanachary dwells on the journey so far. An exclusive auditorium for the promotion of theatre needs to be built in the Ravindra Bharati premises in Hyderabad or alternately the incomplete auditorium in the premises of the Andhra Pradesh Film and Theatre Development corporation needs to be completed The world of theatre is compelling and convincing, entertaining and informative and an art form that holds the very essence of life for those who develop a taste for it. Inspired by the ideal of making theatre a powerful vehicle of thought and social change and make viewing it an unforgettable experience several eminent artistes, bureaucrats and writers got together to form an organisation that was to be a collective reflection of their dreams. Rasaranjani, the brain child of popular poet, writer and bureaucrat who is presently the advisor of the state cultural affairs department KV Ramanachary IAS completed two decades of its existence On March 8 this year. Several eminent personalities like HJ Dora, JV Somayajulu, Acharya Modali Nagabhushana Sarma, Duggirala Someshwara Rao, Garimella Ramamurthy and Chatla Sriramulu got together to launch Rasaranjani. KV Ramanachary, the founder President, is himself an accomplished stage artiste who performed plays both as a student in his college days and later as a lecturer at the Saifabad Arts and Science College and the Warangal Arts and Science College, before he joined the Indian Administrative Service. "Encouraged by my lecturer KYL Narasimha Rao ,I acted in a play "Palle Paduchu" as the heroine while studying BSC. I later acted as the hero in the play "Anantam" penned by Gollapudi Maruthi Rao. I also acted in radio plays while I was at Hyderabad and staged a play called "Dongagarosthunnaaru jaagratha" with my colleagues while teaching at Warangal. Theatre has been a passion since my student days" says Ramanachary who has been working relentlessly for its propagation. Rasaranjani staged stage plays everyday beginning with the popular play "Kanyashulkam" for five years at The Andhra Saraswtha Parishad Hall. "We wanted people to purchase the nominally charged tickets and watch the stage plays and make it a coveted art form as was existent in London, Paris and other places. After four or five years we found a decrease in the viewers who were compelled to watch theatre only if there was some innovative thought or message which was different from the routine which I confess we were falling into," says Ramanachary who then reduced the plays to three days a week beginning from Friday. This also had to be stopped as Andhra Saraswata Parishad had taken up extension work in its premises forcing Rasaranjani to move to Thyagaraja Gana Sabha. Rasaranjani now stages plays on the 20th and 21st of every month at the Gana Sabha where the tickets are priced at Rs.10 per head. The organisation which has staged more than 3000 plays since its inception has an audience of about 200 people during these days. The same play is staged for two consecutive days where opportunities are provided to other groups and organisations under the aegis of Rasaranjani at this venue on the above said dates. Rasaranjani which receives a grant of Rs 10 lakh from the ministry of culture and Government of India, regularly conducts theatre workshops two or three times a year preferably during the summer and winter months. Despite the grant, staging plays is an expensive affair, as hiring the auditorium and paying remuneration to the artistes for two days in a month costs about 25,000 rupees and the amount accruing from the sale of tickets is not more than two to three thousand according to KV Ramanachary. Having initiated the Nandi Natakotsavams when he was Director, Culture Information and Public relations, he now feels the need for help from government to give a fillip to activities undertaken by Rasaranjani. He feels an exclusive auditorium for the promotion of theatre needs to be built in the Ravindra Bharati premises in Hyderabad or alternately an incomplete auditorium in the premises of the Andhra Pradesh Film and theatre development corporation, be completed. KV Ramanachary has already made these suggestions to the government in his capacity as advisor department of culture and is hopeful that they will be implemented soon. As Rasaranjani completes two decades he appeals to more than 100 cultural organisations that exist in Andhra Pradesh which conduct festivals and national level stage competitions to make use of the space made available by Rasaranjani to further the cause of theatre. Theatre after all to put it in his words is that "which defines life, questions it, unravels it and provides the answers. It is an extension of life that enthralls and enraptures providing" rasanubhuti"(experience of the essence) and "rasanandam"(joy of essence) which completes and compliments life.