They have to report by noon today to start preparing for a new play

In a sudden twist to the Mysore Rangayana ‘drama’, the 12 artistes deputed to the units in Shimoga and Dharwad early this year, have been asked to report back to the Rangayana repertory by noon on Sunday to prepare for a new play

Copies of a message in this regard were dispatched from the office of the Deputy Director, Rangayana, Mysore, to the heads of those units. However, this has nothing to do with the issue at the government level as it is not the cancellation of their deputation officially.

The decision to call them back “till further orders” was taken at a meeting presided over by in-charge Rangayana director K.R. Ramakrishna here on Saturday. It is being seen as a ‘victory of sorts’ for the artistes who had been objecting to the deputation.

The new play

The order sent to the administrative officers of the Shimoga and Dharwad units to “relieve” the artistes— six from each place — said the artistes were being called back to be a part of a new play — Tree of Babel — to be directed by Brazilian theatre person Elisa Toledo Todd who has arrived in the city.

The play, involving all 18 artistes from the undivided repertory here (12 from Shimoga and Dharwad and six from here), will be held to mark the silver jubilee celebrations in January next.

Deputy Director of Rangayana, Mysore, S.I. Bhavikatti confirmed to The Hindu that he had dispatched copies of the message.

‘The first step’

‘This is the first step towards keeping the Rangayana repertory here intact and fulfilling the dream of founder B.V. Karanth’, ‘Mime’ Ramesh, one of the artistes who was deputed to Dharwad, told The Hindu.

He said that this should be counted as a victory for the artistes, who were supported by writers, intellectuals, former heads of Rangayana, political personalities and theatre lovers during their agitation against the deputation. Nothing had improved on the theatre front in Shimoga and Dharwad since their deputation, he said.

‘Unit here has suffered’

“We were left to fend for ourselves without even accommodation in Dharwad,” he said. The promise that each artiste would be paid an additional Rs. 8,000 a month was not fulfilled by the government, Mr. Ramesh said. On the other hand, the repertory in Mysore had suffered. He said that the artistes would always strive to save the Rangayana repertory.

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