The three-day summer festival by the Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, which began here on Saturday, focuses on topical social issues like empowerment of women, environmental issues and education.

The event marks the culmination of a state-wide campaign to revive the stagecraft. Based on the concept of a travelling theatre festival, the campaign, which began on May 11, involved the staging of selected plays in important centres across Kerala.

The first play named ‘Siddhartha' was staged at Kochi. Subsequently, the campaign had stopovers at Thrissur, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod and Kollam before concluding in Thiruvananthapuram. The other plays staged by the troupe include ‘Sakharam Binder' by Vijay Tendulkar, ‘Palangal' and ‘Lesson'.

While ‘Sakharam Binder' focuses on the atrocities against women, ‘Lesson' is a play highlighting the importance of education. ‘Palangal' is a political satire based on noted poet K. Ayyappa Panicker's poem on the unholy nexus between bureaucracy and criminal elements.

While ‘Palangal' was directed by D. Reghoothaman, the other three plays were directed by M.G. Jyotish.

The three-day festival in Thiruvananthapuram was inaugurated by director Adoor Gopalakrishnan on Saturday.