The dialect, dressing, and decorum of the region find reflection in playwright Vizia Bhaskar’s works

In this modern day globalised one-size-fits-all world, where individuals are rootless, it is difficult to find someone labouring to keep alive the cultural ethos of the region, as reflected in dialect, dressing, and decorum.

Rooted in the rich traditions of North Andhra and weaving a tapestry of emotions in his plays is Sageet Natak Akademi award-winner Vizia Bhaskar.

His latest work — Rajigadu Rajayyadu — was staged in the city on Monday and Tuesday.

Awards

Awards are not new to Dr. Bhaskar. He has at least eight Nandis and a number of other awards for his plays and writings. He has penned over 25 plays.

Dr. Bhaskar from Ampollu village in Srikakulam is at present Additional Mission Director, Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas. He was Municipal Commissioner for Anantapur and Kurnool, and Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad. He did his research on German writer Brecht for the award of PhD by Andhra University.

“I favour drama to express myself, as I have the flexibility of saying all that my heart wants to say through the characters. In fact, I do not subscribe to the views of some of my characters, but then it is lurking somewhere in my heart and comes out forcefully,” he said. Maybe, I am influenced by the street plays I saw in my childhood in my village, he said, adding that he did not try other genres.

An honour

The quality of his work can be gauged from the fact that he is the first Telugu playwright to be honoured by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in the last 25 years. His works have been translated, and one scholar has got a PhD for research on his volume of works. One of his plays has been adapted and made into a commercial feature film.

‘Rajigadu Rajayyadu’ has 40 persons working, both before and behind the screen, and the play itself goes on for four hours.

“It was a six-hour play, we worked on it and brought it down to four hours,” the playwright confessed. It focuses on the socio-economic circumstances of members of the poor backward caste artisans and service providers, who find it difficult to live in the modern market-driven economy.

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