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The curtain goes up on Kodai Nataka Vizha

The 12-day annual drama pageant, Kodai Nataka Vizha, that showcases new and established theatre teams, begins right this moment

The 12-day annual drama pageant, that showcases new and established theatre teams, begins right this moment

The Nineteen Fifties heralded the daybreak of a brand new period in Tamil theatre, when a number of novice troupes had been based. Over the following three many years, they performed an essential function in making a vibrant theatre ambiance, the place virtually each play drew enormous crowds. The period additionally noticed a number of new writers making their debut, with a number of additionally graduating to writing for movies. It was the late Kartik Rajagopal, who noticed the necessity to promote novice theatre. ‘My father, an important theatre lover, was one of many founder-members of Mylapore Nice Arts Membership in 1951. Many veterans equivalent to Cho, Okay. Balachander, Komal Swaminathan, Jaishankar, and ‘Main’ Sundararajan inaugurated their performs underneath the Mylapore Nice Arts Membership banner. The nice and cozy relationship continued when he began Kartik Nice Arts in 1975. Many troupes started premiering their performs at KFA,” says Rajagopal Sekar, the present secretary of the sabha.

However a devoted pageant for theatre, on the traces of the December music season, didn’t come about till 1990. On the suggestion of KFA’s then president, A.V.S. Raja, the primary Kodai Nataka Vizha was held that yr. For the primary few years, the pageant featured performs by established troupes equivalent to Loopy Creations, UAA, and Natakhapriya. Recognising the necessity to encourage younger actors, administrators and writers, which he deemed important for the survival and development of theatre, Kartik Rajagopal recommended that the pageant be restructured as a drama competitors, the place new scripts can be inaugurated and would compete for a prize. The primary Kodai Nataka Vizha, underneath this new format, was held in 1996.

A bit of the viewers on the Narada Gana Sabha, throughout the Kodai Nataka Vizha, in 2016. 2016.
| Picture Credit score: B. Jothi Ramalingam/The Hindu

Good platform

Over the course of its journey, the theatre pageant has served as an important platform for each novice and established theatre teams. ‘We’re extraordinarily glad to have staged the performs of a number of well-known writers equivalent to Chandramohan, Sreevathson of Dummies, and Muthukumaran, to call a number of,” says Rajagopal Sekar.

Planning for the occasion begins quickly after the annual December artwork pageant, when letters are despatched out to numerous troupes inviting their participation. Prior to now, troupes from Coimbatore and Bengaluru too have carried out at theVizha. That the pageant is recognised as a significant platform right this moment to inaugurate a play is borne by the truth that greater than 15 scripts had been acquired this yr for an obtainable slot of 12 performs. “We guarantee a mixture of first-timers and common performers. And people who don’t discover a place within the pageant, we attempt to accommodate them in our month-to-month programmes.” The 2022 version options 4 first-timers.

Drawing new audiences, particularly children, is the opposite essential goal of the pageant. A motive why it has at all times been a non-ticketed occasion. “It was a aware resolution, as my father wished these performs to succeed in a bigger viewers. The pageant is timed to coincide with the summer time trip so that oldsters can watch the performs with their youngsters, and spend time collectively within the consolation of an air-conditioned corridor,” he says.

Recognition for artistes

Yearly, over 30 awards, and 12 rolling trophies are given underneath numerous classes. The rolling trophies have been sponsored by theatre personalities equivalent to S.Ve. Shekher, and troupes equivalent to Stage Creations and UAA. Most fittingly, the Finest Director trophy has been instituted by Okay. Balachander, whereas the one for the very best story author, by Kartik Rajagopal himself. With a view to advertise viewers participation, money prizes are additionally awarded for the 2 finest opinions of every play.

Troupes that win the primary and second prizes are awarded subsidies of ₹ 10,000 and ₹ 5,000 respectively, if their performs are staged 10 instances earlier than March 31, the next yr.

The thirty first Kodai Nataka Vizha will probably be inaugurated right this moment (6 p.m.) at Narada Gana Sabha, by N. Ravi, Chairman, Kasturi and Sons Ltd.

The author is a heritage buff and an novice Tamil theatre artiste.

The Playlist

The next is the listing of performs to be staged throughout the Kodai Nataka Vizha, to be held at Narada Gana Sabha, from April 22 to Might 3, 7 p.m.

April 22: Chinchu Pinchu

April 23: Minmanigal

April 24: Panchavadi

April 25: Edhir Vinai

April 26: Aaranju

April 27: Thathpurushaya

April 28: MamaMaaple 2.0

April 29: Title

April 30: Seethapathi

Might 1: Tharai Mel Pirakka Vaithaan

Might 2: Kadavule Idhu Nyayama?

Might 3: Aval Peyar Sakthi

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