Titles The zeal with which each of these six theatre artists donned roles earned them due recognition. Syed Muthahar Saqaf
The highlight of the seventh anniversary of the Tiruchi Mavatta Nataka Nadigargal Sangam was the conferring of the titles, ‘Kalai Semmal’ and ‘Valar Ilam Kalaignar’ on the senior and budding stage artists, respectively. Rasu Maduravan, film director, conferred the titles on them at a function held at the Rasika Ranjana Sabha auditorium in Tiruchi recently.
While ‘Kalai Semmal’ award was conferred on M.S. Jagan, Sinivasan, A.P.S. Manimaran and K. Varadharajan, ‘Valar Ilam Kalaignar’ award was conferred on K. Barakath Ali and A. Ahmed Ibrahim.
Jagan said that he left his house in Mayiladuthurai at a very young age due to his interest in theatre and joined the ‘Sri Vairam Drama Troupe,’ Chennai. He acted in all the plays staged by Kallal Ramanathan, husband of renowned comedian, Manorama. He had also acted in various plays starring yesteryear stars such as S.A. Natarajan, T.R. Ramachandran, Angamuthu, ‘Kuladeivam’ Rajagopal and ‘Kallapart’ Natarajan. He launched his own ‘Kalaivani Nataka Sabha’ and staged plays in various parts of the State. On spotting his talent, R.S. Manohar made him a member of his troupe. In the recent past he acted along with K. Bhagyaraj, Sangili Murugan, Goundamani and ‘Pasi’ Sathya.
G. Sivan Srinivasan’s ‘Karumari Creations’ has staged plays across the State for the past three decades. His troupe has been recognised by the Government of India and his dramas, focused on creating an awareness, were staged more than 4,000 times. He also had the opportunity to stage a drama promoting national integration in the presence of the then President of India late R. Venkatraman. He was the recipient of Culcon Award, Malcolm Heritage award, Wisdom International award, Perunthalaivar Kamarak award, Puducherry Government award etc. He had also acted in Cho Ramaswamy’s ‘Enge Brahmanan’ and 990 episodes of the TV serial ‘Roja’ produced by AVM. At present he is acting in different serials being telecast by Jaya TV, Vijay TV, Zee TV, etc.
Manimaran launched his drama career along with a group of friends at the age of 22. Due to financial crisis, all his friends abandoned him. But he continued his quest and boldly staged the play ‘Thangaiah? Thaarama?, which was a big hit. Under the auspices of Muthamizh Kalai Mandram he staged more than 30 plays. Besides acting, he was also in charge of story, dialogue and direction. Some of his plays that were staged have won prizes in the competitions held in Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Neyveli, Puducherry, Erode, Nagapattinam, etc. His drama troupe ‘Tamizhannai Kalai Mandram,’ which he promoted later won the best drama award in the contest conducted by South Indian Film Actors Association. Manimaran, who is 75-years old, is still active in the drama field.
K. Varadarajan began his career in theatre in 1983 through the play, ‘Sumangali.’ He has staged more than 500 plays so far and scripted about 15 social plays. He launched many drama schools in Namakkal, Salem and Erode districts. He won the ‘Kalai kaavalar’ and ‘Kalaiperarasu’ awards.
K. Barakath Ali of Ramanathapuram district and A. Ahmed Ibrahim of Madurai, are disciples of Madurai Tipu Sulthan. Barakath Ali had acted as hero in the drama ‘Pudhu Kathal.’ This role fetched him the outstanding actor award. Ahmed Ibrahim is also a good cameraman.