National » Andhra Pradesh

Updated: March 28, 2014 22:42 IST

It’s time Ongole had a stage

S. Murali
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Artistes have been struggling to showcase their acting talent for over five decades.

As the world celebrates the International Theatre Day on Thursday, thespians in the city which has carved a niche for itself in the cultural realm, rue over lack of a modern auditorium to stage plays in the city. They have been struggling to get an appropriate platform to showcase their acting talents for over five decades.

Except for the statues of veteran thespians Bandaru Rama Rao and Subba Rao, who have ruled the roost through vivid portrayal of the role of Satya Harischandra, there is no sign of any development activity near the former Lion’s club auditorium being renovated now at a snail’s pace. Mentioning South African playwright and director Brett Bailey’s message of promoting peace and harmony among people through drama, Praja Natya Mandali (PNM) state honorary president Nalluri Venkateswarulu said while talking to The Hindu that “it is unfortunate that the city, which is in contention for the state capital, is without a permanent auditorium.

Mr. Edara Haribabu, chairman of the NTR Kala Parishad, which has been conducting State-level drama festival for the last 14 years by constructing a make-shift auditorium at the PVR Boys High school every year in memory of NTR without fail in January, felt that the government should at least know speed up construction of the auditorium for which the late YSR had laid the foundation stone.

No construction activity had been taken up in the one-acre plot near the Vuracheruvu in the wake of land dispute, lamented Spandana drama troupe founder T. Anand Rao.

Noted theatre personalities Md. Salabjan, G. Krishnamurthy, Katari Krishna and others, after protracted struggle, got land allocated in the 1950s but subsequently the civic body decided to construct a shopping complex in its place instead, C.V.N. Reading room cultural wing president A. Prasad said.

The government should renovate the Bala Bhavan auditorium in the office of the Revenue Division Officer (RDO) immediately for staging plays, said noted make-up artiste P. Veerasamy.

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