The two-decade-old Karnataka Nataka Rangayana, which is set to commence a one-year certificate course in theatre from this year in association with the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), is also preparing to start a three-year degree course.
The move is being described by the Department of Kannada and Culture as an attempt to strengthen the Bharatiya Ranga Shikshana Kendra (BRSK), the theatre training institute started by Rangayana in 2001-02 by the former director of the repertory Prasanna to impart vocational training in theatre to teachers and social activists.
The Affiliation Committee set up by KSOU, under the chairmanship of former director of Rangayana C. Basavalingaiah, to study the infrastructure available at Rangayana to run the degree course met here on Sunday.
It is learnt that the committee had discussions with the director of Rangayana B. Jayashri, Joint Director of Kannada and Culture K.T. Chikkanna in this regard.
Sources in Rangayana said that the degree course in theatre would be conducted without harming the “basic repertory character of Rangayana” and that the BRSK would be renamed as “Karnataka Rangashale.”
It is also said that a similar attempt was made to start a degree course at the Dharwad unit of Rangayana. But the proposal was rejected in view of the teething problems being faced there.
The certificate course will start soon.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Basavalingaiah said that the three-year degree course in theatre was conceptualised when Chidambara Rao Jambe was the director of Rangayana. After Mr. Jambe demitted office, Mr. Chikkanna pursued the matter with the KSOU. The idea of starting a degree course was to provide an “academic stamp” of a reputed university to create confidence among the students.
Mr. Basavalingaiah said that the committee would submit its report soon, and the setting up of a syllabus committee and appointment of principal would follow. In all likelihood, the degree might start in the next academic year. Writer and member of the Affiliation Committee Lingadevaru Halemane said that the course would be on the lines of the one at the National School of Drama, New Delhi.
After the committee submits its report, the KSOU would begin work on the prospectus and drafting the syllabus.
The sources said that students who completed the certificate course were eligible to join the second year degree course directly.
The entire responsibility of conducting the course would rest with Rangayana.
The KSOU would issue certificates to those completing the course. Commenting on the development, a senior theatre personality noted that this would help end the feud between the director of Rangayana and the artistes, as the services of the latter could be used as teachers for both the courses.