The annual festival held in Tiruchi showcased plays by different troupes.

The fourth annual drama festival organised jointly by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur, and Tiruchi Maavatta Nadaga Nadigargal Sangam at the FGN Auditorium of the Rasika Ranjana Sabha evoked good response. A total of 21 stage plays presented by different drama troupes from across the state were staged at the festival.

The festival commenced with the play ‘Naayagi’ presented by Puthiya Udhayam Kalaikuzhu. The play was directed by two women – S. Santhi Sri and S. Viji.

The drama ‘Azhage Sugama?,’ presented by Tiruchi Golden Brothers and directed by J. Julian, revolved round the incidents that take place in a village. Singaram, a farmer hailing from a remote village, falls in love with Devi, who loves Rajagopal. When Singaram’s parents come to realise about this love triangle, they abuse Devi. But Singaram convinces his parents and Devi’s to get her married off to Rajagopal. Everyone appreciates Singaram for the gesture. J. Julian, R. Lakshmi Priya, Adhi Sridhar, S. Durairaj played the lead roles.

The drama ‘Natpukkum Karpundu,’ presented by Karai Kalaikovil Drama Troupe was directed by S.S. Haja Mohideen, who was also in charge of story, dialogue, and lyrics. The story emphasises on true friendship and the need to maintain its sanctity even if it is between a boy and a girl and that it should not turn into a love affair between them. It also underlines the importance of maintaining and continuing traditional practices which have found a place in Tamil literature.

The Vedaranyam Tamil Panpaattu Kalaignargal Sangam presented the social stage play ‘Pudhiya Uravugal.’ Kunju Mohan was in-charge of direction and S.R. Rajakumaran had penned the story and dialogue. Sundar, David and Anwar, after completing their studies, mobilise youths and launch various social service projects. Sundar meets Mary, a visually challenged, at a medical camp. Attracted by her concern towards the society, Sundar falls for her. Sundar’s father solemnise the marriage in a temple. However, Sundar’s mother Pankajam, a greedy woman, harasses Mary, due to which she attempts to commit suicide. One day, Pankajam faints and gets admitted into a hospital. Pankajam, who repents her actions, however succumbs at the hospital. The doctor informs Sundar that Pankajam had expressed her wish to donate her eyes to Mary. C. Bharathi, P. Nageswari, S.R. Rajakumaran and R.V. Sankar gave excellent portrayals.

Tiruchi Annai Stage Creations presented ‘Inaikodugal’ and R. Ramachandran (RR) was in charge of the story, dialogue and direction. Vanaja, the eldest of the two daughters of a rich man, marries Senthil, hailing from a poor family, despite opposition from her father. Though Vanaja had to endure many adversities at her in-law’s place, she refuses to go back to her mother’s house despite repeated requests from her father. On the other hand, Vanaja’s sister Surya, as per her father’s wish, marries Sekar with a dream to lead a peaceful. But that goes for a toss when Sekar starts accusing her of murdering his sister. But when he comes to know through one of his friends that Surya is innocent, he apologises and the two lead a peaceful life.

Annaiyin Arulal’ (presented by the BHEL Nanbargal Kuzhu, story and dialogue: V. Chithiravelu and direction: A. Soosai Manikkam); ‘Marumagal’ (by Tamizhthaai Nadaga Mandram, story, dialogue and direction: Thanjai Muthu Balan); ‘Sathiyaseelan’ (presented by Thanjai Mariyannai Kalaikuzhu, story, dialogue and direction S. Mariya Lourduraj); ‘Paavathin Sambalam’ (presented by Tiruchi Navarasam Nadaga Mandram, story and dialogue: Tiruchi Ramesh and direction: K. Subramani); ‘Pithaa’ (presented by Mohanur Kathiravan Kalai Mandram, story, dialogue, direction: Vaanathi Kathir), ‘Vaazha Thudikkuthu Manasu’ (Jedarpalayam Tamizhannai Kalai Mandram, story, dialogue and direction: Rama Tiruppathi); ‘Manasai Maraitha Malar’ (Tiruchi Rose Creations, story, dialogue and direction: T. Sammanthapandian); ‘Thoppul Kodi Uravu’ (Raja Kambalathar Veerapandia Kattabomman Nataka Mandram; story, dialogue and direction: R.P. Murugesan); ‘Mudhalali’ (Thanjai Cholan Nadaga Mandram; story, dialogue and direction: Thanjai Francis); ‘Kaveriyai Kaanavillai’ (Amara Kunthi Ilango Nadaga Mandram, story and dialogue: A.S. Thailappan and direction: K. Mahibalan); ‘Oru Sarugu Malaragiradhu’ (Kailasapuram Thendral Kalai Kuzhu, story, dialogue and direction: Bharath Manohar); ‘Vidiyattum’ (Kuthaalam Tamizhannai Kalai Mandram, story, dialogue and direction: A.P.S. Manimaran) and ‘Yaar..? Saami Yaar ..? (Kovai Kadiravan Maamandram; story, dialogue and direction: Kovai R. Thiagarajan were the other dramas that were staged at the festival.

R. Gunasekaran, deputy director of Department of Art and Culture, Chennai, and Singam Puli, cinema director and comedian, were the chief guests at the valediction. Seera Kaththan, president of the sangam, R. Ramachandran, honorary president, N. Sekar, secretary, R.R. Sabha, Muthuvelahagan and K. Krishnamurthy, senior drama artists, offered felicitation.

Gunasekaran and Singam Puli gave away awards to best drama and artists.

While the drama Nayaki was adjudged the best, the second prize went to ‘Inai Kodugal,’ R. Ramachandran (RR) was adjudged the best director and the second prize went to Thiyagarajan (‘Vizhudhugal’) and the third prize to J. Julien (‘Azhagae Sugama’).

A. Francis was adjudged the best actor for his role in ‘Mudhalali’ followed by V.P. C. Sekar ('Nayaki').

The best actor award went to L.R. Suganthi, followed by S. Viji.

The award for best script and dialogue went to A.P.S. Manimaran ('Vidiyattum'), Kattur V. Chithravelu ('Annaiyin arulal') and Karai Subbia ('Theruvilakku').

The best music director award went to Pandi T. Tamizharasan while Salem Vijaya got the best make-up man award.

S. Shanthisri and S. Viji bagged a special prize for director ('Nayaki').