‘He sowed the seeds for the development of serious theatre'
Theatre developed an academic status in the State thanks to the efforts of playwright G. Sankara Pillai, veteran dramatist S. Ramanujam has said.
He was addressing a programme in remembrance of G. Sankara Pillai conducted here on Tuesday as part of the valedictory function of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi's 53rd Formation Day celebrations.
School of Drama
“The Nataka Kalari movement started by Sankara Pillai in 1967 and various appreciation camps held by the Akademi led to the creation of the School of Drama and Fine Arts. It has created some of the best theatre practitioners in the country. If Malayalam plays are among the best productions in any national theatre festival today and Malayalis are among the best teachers and actors in any national theatre school, the credit goes to a movement spearheaded by Sankara Pillai,” Prof. Ramanujam said.
He recalled a production of Sankara Pillai's ‘Snehadoothan,' directed by him that featured actors Narendra Prasad and Beatrice.
“The actors doubted whether they would fit the bill. I encouraged them because I believed in the power of the play. The production was a huge success.”
He said that Sankara Pillai was not merely a playwright, but also a visionary who inspired a movement and sowed the seeds for the development of serious theatre.
Two books of a 14-volume collection of Sankara Pillai's plays being published by the Akademi were released on the occasion.
Actor and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi chairman Mukesh spoke about the role of the Akademi in promoting art forms.
Among those present on the occasion were Akademi vice-chairman K.M. Raghavan Nambiar; playwright C.L. Jose; theatre experts G. Gangadharan Nair and E.T. Varghese; and Beatrice and Sreeja Arangottukara.