Sri Krishna Gana Sabha celebrated International Theatre Artists Day on March 27 by honouring veteran theatre artists. Dr. Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti, President SKGS, welcomed the gathering and introduced the awardees.

Veteran theatre personality R. Neelakantan (Neelu) was honoured with the “Award of Excellence” for his yeoman service to the stage for over five decades. Alongside, Thiruvisainallur M. Subramaniam, better known as Suppini, P. Lakshmi, stage artist and technician Y. Johnson were honoured for their meritorious contribution to Theatre. Dr (Mrs) Y.G.Parthasarathy, Dean and Director PSBB group of schools, presided, distributed the mementos and reminisced about the Golden Era of Tamil theatre especially highlighting Nawab Rajamanickam and R.S. Manohar's mythological and historical plays.

She mentioned the passion with which stalwarts such as Neelu have dedicated themselves to Tamil drama.

Special mention was made about Suppini's contribution to UAA. Mrs Y.G. Parthasarathy also recalled the contribution and paid rich tributes to actor Sukumari, who passed away recently.

In his acceptance speech Neelu thanked his better half, Shantha

Neelakantan, but for whose solid support it would not have been possible to cross milestones. He thanked Dr. Seshagiri Rao who was the first source of inspiration, Director K. Balachander, “Saambu” Natarajan,

Cho Ramaswamy, Crazy Mohan and last but not the least the audience whose instant and timely support made it possible for him achieve accolades. Neelu observed that he derived true pleasure in stage plays where the

result is spontaneous and instant. Mrs P. Lakshmi and set designer technician Johnson (son of Mr. Doss who was with the Nawab Rajamanikam troupe and who is with Chennai Doordarshan) thanked the audience for their generous support that brought laurels to them.

Y.Gee. Mahendra and Crazy Mohan stressed that stage plays would endure changes.