Plays both pouranic and social and felicitations to a host of artistes marked the celebrations of World Theatre Day at Visakhapatnam. While students of the Department of Theatre Arts staged the Telugu version of Greek tragedy Antigone of Sophocles and popular pouranic play Pandavudyoga Vijayam with enthusiasm at KV Gopala Swamy open air auditorium on Andhra University campus, prominent theatre forum Ranga Sai Nataka Sangham of Badamgir Sai celebrated it at Kalabharati on an impressive note.

Sophocles’ play Antigone was about whether adherence to divine law and human values are more important than civil law and royal decree. A conflict between the two may lead to severe punishment but ultimately the punishment brings wisdom. The student artistes sought to stage an abridged version of the play. It opened with Antigone’s talk with her sister Ismene about burying the body of their brother Polyneices against the royal decree. A few scenes such as Antigone’s argument with king Creon about the rightness of her actions and her being sentenced to death were enacted well.

On the second day, students staged a popular pouranic play Pandavudyoga Vijayam written by renowned Tirupathi Venkata Kavulu. The play expands on a few episodes from the epic Mahabharatam, It opened opening with Suyodhana’s soliloquy before going to Dwaraka to seek the help of Lord Krishna in ensuing victory in the Kurukeshtra war. Lord Krishna’s popular ‘Padaka scene’ when Suyodhana and Arjuna approach Him for help and Krishna’s diplomatic mission at the Kaurva court were enacted with verve. Verses couched in classical ragas were rendered in all their dramatic appeal that drew applause.

At Kalabharati, while artistes of KV Memorial Arts presented the play let Swagatam that of Ranga Sai Nataka Sangham enacted Natulunnaru Jagratha. The former was about a dedicated theatre actor who remains committed to the stage despite being lured with offers from the tinsel world and the latter dealt with the woes of a stage director who finds it hard to cope with the whims and fancies of his cast who throw tantrums for trivial things. The Sangham warmly felicitated a host of seasoned theatre artistes before staging the performances.

Keywords: World Theatre Day