As many as plays, produced by troupes across the State, were staged in Tiruchi.

Annai Stage Creations, Tiruchi, conducted its maiden competition of historical plays at the Rasika Ranjana Sabha Hall in Tiruchi. The festival, jointly organised by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur and State Department of Art and Culture, evoked good response. A total of 13 historical plays, produced by the drama troupes from across the state, from Bangalore and also from the Union Territory of Puducherry, were staged during the competition held from October 15-21 with two plays per day.

Srirangam Vaanmathi Kalai Manram presented the play, ‘Malar Manjam’ on the first day. While poet Vaali was in charge of story and dialogue, S.R. Keethan had directed the drama. On the same day, Courtallam Tamizhannai Kalai Manram presented the play ‘Podhigai Malai Thendral,’ which was directed by A.P.S. Manimaran. Dr. C. Aruldoss, a surgeon, was in charge of story and dialogue.

The second day’s programmes commenced with ‘Tiruvarulseyal,’ staged by Tiruchi Rose Creations. T. Sambanda Pandian was in charge of the story, dialogue and direction. The second play was ‘Punitha Sebastine,’ presented by Thanjavur Mariamman Kalai Kuzhu. While O.N. Selvaraj had penned the story and dialogue, S.M. Lourduraj was the director.

Maruvathur Amman Puranam’ was presented by Kovai Kadiravan Kalai Manram. S.M. Arumugam and R. Thiagarajan were in charge of the script, dialogue and direction respectively. Tiruchi RR directed the drama ‘Vekkaliamman,’ presented by Tiruchi RR Theatres. Prof. Arumugam had penned the script and the dialogue.

Manapparai K.S. Krishnappa troupe presented the drama ‘Madurai Veeran,’ on the fifth day and it was followed by ‘Karnan,’ presented by Salem Kalaivani Movies. Vaiyapuri, a school teacher, was in charge of script and dialogue and Dr. M. Anandan directed the play.

Veeramangai Obavva’ was presented by Bangalore Kalaiselvi Creations. While Kanchana Mala had written the script and penned the dialogue, K. Baggiaraj took care of the direction. Salem Amara Kunthi Ilango Nataka Manram presented ‘Chatrapathi Sivaji,’ directed by K. Mahibalan. P. Dhanapal was in charge of story and dialogue.

On the penultimate day, ‘Chanakkiyan’ was presented by Bangalore Tiruvalluvar Nataka Manram and ‘Veera Sivaji,’ by Pondy Gokulam Kalaikuzhi. While the former was directed by Kalai Krishna (story and dialogue – Vaseekaran), the second was directed by T. Nandagopal (M.S. Raja was in charge of the story and dialogue).

The drama fest came to an end with the staging of the ‘Nayakka Maha Devi,’ a play about the Madurai and Thanjavur kingdoms. The play was presented by Tiruchi Annai Nataka Manram. While Tiruchi George was in charge of story and dialogue, M.S. Mohamed Masthan directed the play.

Award for best plays

‘Nayakka Maha Devi’ was adjudged the best drama and was awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000. Mohamed Masthan and Tiruchi George received the award from Muthuvelazhagan, noted director and producer.

A purse of Rs. 5,000 was given to ‘Chanakkiyan’ that came second and a special prize of Rs. 3,000 was given to the play ‘Veera Sivaji.’ Mohamed Masthan bagged the best director award.

Pandeeswaran was given the first prize for make up and Jothi Meena was given the second prize. The best actress award was bagged by Salem Vijayabarathi. Runner-up was Bangalore Reeta and a special prize was shared by Pondy Viji and Tiruchi Viji.

Pondy Tamilarasan bagged the music director award, Kanchana Mala, the best scene award and Santhishree best dancer award.

The title ‘Kalai Thendral’ was conferred on six artists - Thanjavur V. Rani Jaya, Pondy V. Tamilarasan, Parasai Bala, Suravali V. Srinivasan, Srirangam N. Kannan and Kappal Kavignar K. Krishnamoorthy. Poet M.R. Lingam, Srirangam S.R. Kathan, Pondy M.S. Raja, Bangalore Kalai Krishna were presented the outstanding achievement awards.

R. Manoharan, MLA, was the chief guest at the valediction. R. Gunasekaran, secretary and deputy director, Folk Artistes Welfare Board offered felicitations.