The famed Surabhi theatre group is back in action in Visakhapatnam after a gap of four years. Carrying on the glorious family tradition and keeping the art of staging Telugu mythological and folk drama aloft, the group has won national recognition once again with R. Nageswara Rao, popularly known as Babji, being selected for the coveted Padma Shri award. For the group that has been running the show for seven generations, its newest faces are keeping pace with time. Babi and Gitasri, brother and sister, are doing their MBA. Four-month-old Greeshma Gaganasri made her debut in the evergreen Maya Bazaar on Tuesday at Kalabharati Auditorium, where the troupe staged plays. The Surabhi troupe keeps the entire staging of drama within the family, and 65 members tour cities staging performances. Right from organising stage properties, to make-up, electrical fittings, and the fabled special effects — they toil and then don the grease paint to again play their role in the drama. Spending time with children, readying them for the show, making do with the available amenities — all are part of the game for them.
For Surabhi, the curtains are always up and the spirit always high. The Rangasai Nataka Sangham of ‘Badamgeer’ Sai organised the festival.
Photos and text by C.V. Subrahmanyam