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Theatre with regional flavour



"Yaagna Seni Atmakatha" ... presenting Draupadi's version of the great epic in Telugu.

WELL-KNOWN THEATRE groups from all over the country took part in the National Theatre Festival 2003, conducted by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur, and Art and Culture Department, at Kancheepuram from August 23-29. The Lt. Governor of Pondicherry, the State Minister for Handlooms and Handicrafts and eminent theatre personalities graced the occasion and the plays in the various languages (Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam) were well received.

As Mr. K. Phanindra Reddy, director, South Zone Cultural Centre put it, the aim of the National Theatre Festival is to promote contemporary theatre with its cultural elements and regional flavour intact.

Experienced theatre directors Habib Tanvir, Kavalam Narayana Panicker, Kumar Roy, B. V. Rajaram and Y. Gee. Mahendra, staged their productions. If YGM's "Theerpu Naal" projected today's society, S. Ramanujam's "Veriyattam" had anti-war as its theme. "Ondu Sainika Viruttanda" in Kannada (B. V. Rajaram) brought to light the common man's suffering during war, with the Mahabharatha war as the background.



B. V. Rajaram's Kannada play _ portraying the tribulations of war.

The story of the Malayalam play "Kalivesham" by Kavalam Narayana Panicker had been inspired by Nala Charitham. A popular folk tale formed the base of Kumar Roy's Bengali play, "Phullaketur Pala".

"Charan Das Chor" was a hilarious comedy in Hindi, by Habib Tanvir.

Yagnaseni's (Draupadi) version of the Mahabharatha formed the story of "Yaagna Seni-Atmakatha" in Telugu.

Local talents were given an opportunity to enact their plays every evening before the scheduled event began.

Mr. K. Ravindran, head, Department of Drama, Tamil University, who was the director of the festival, explained in detail the History of Indian Theatre and stage techniques. Mr. V. Jayapal, regional assistant director, Department of Art and Culture, organised the successful weeklong event.

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