The 60 anniversary celebrations of famed Tamil theatre group United Amateur Artistes (UAA) began on Sunday with veteran film director K. Balachander releasing a DVD titled ‘60 Years of Passion’. The group was founded by Y.G. Parthasarathy and Pattu (N. Padmanabhan) in 1952.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Balachander said that YGP was his hero in earlier days, as he too was in government service and a dramatist of repute. The YGP-Pattu duo changed the face of Tamil theatre. The group has been home to many actors including Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Lakshmi, as well as several technicians, he added.

N. Ram, Director, Kasturi & Sons ltd., said the proprietors of The Hindu were very happy to support Tamil theatre. This was the first time The Hindu was supporting such an event. He said that Indian language theatre, particularly Tamil theatre was much more rigorous, lively, meaningful, talented and socially relevant than English theatre which is often sterile.

‘Thuglak’ editor Cho Ramaswamy congratulated Y Gee Mahendra and friends for the excellent manner in which they had been carrying on YGP’s tradition. He recalled that YGP was a very kind-hearted and generous person and there have been instances when he has helped people without even telling Rajamma (Mrs. YGP).

Mrs. YG Parthasarathy said that UAA would continue to stage plays and educate and entertain the public. Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram Sachu, actors Y. Gee. Mahendra and ARS and Carnatic vocalist Sudha Raghunathan, Malles Construction Pvt Ltd chairman U. Chandraprakasham, Viking chairman A. Easwaran and The Hindu vice president (advertising) Suresh Srinivasan also participated.

An eight-day UAA theatre festival with select plays of UAA will be held at the Narada Gana Sabha from September 24-30. Plays will be held on all days at 6.30 p.m. excepting on the last day when two plays will be staged – one at 10.30 a.m. and another at 6.30 p.m. The plays include Ithu Nyayama Sir?, Kathalikka Neramundu, Vietnam Veedu, Venkata 3, Lights on, Swadeshi AIyar, Ragasyam Parama Ragasyam and Nadagam.

The theatre festival is being organised by The Hindu, and sponsored by Malles Construction Pvt Ltd, powered by Viking and co-sponsored by Aachi Masala, Shreenivas Silks and Sarees and Besten Pumps. The radio partner is Hello FM. The DVD released has been scripted and directed by S. B. Khanthan.

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