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Translate Taj’s plays: dramatist

Staff Reporter
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Krishnamoorthy deplores lack of avenues in Kerala

There is a lot of experimentation happening in Malayalam theatre, but theatre movement here is weak, said noted K.G. Krishnamoorthy, theatre director and actor from Karnataka.

Inaugurating a three-day programme commemorating the late playwright P.M. Taj here on Wednesday, he said most of the noted dramatists of Kerala were working outside the State, a major reason for which is the lack of proper avenues for theatre in Kerala. Appreciating the wave of experimentation in the theatre scene in the State now, he stressed the need for theatre-friendly stages to encourage the movement.

“Passion and professionalism should go together for theatre to flourish. Nowadays, we are more professional and passion is often missing. The concept of theatre as an actor-centric media is now lost as actors are sidelined in most plays, in favour of technical aspects. The actor should come back to the frontline. Theatre is essentially a protest against social evils, and now the strength of the protest is weakening. Street theatre that had been an effective tool of social interaction in the hands of responsible organisations at one point of time, have now lost its dignity with every political party and advertiser using it as a tool to propagate their ideas,” he said.

The veteran director demanded that there should be an effort to translate the works of Taj to English so that outsiders could also recognise the unique talent. He said Taj’s plays carried a moral message amidst themes from myths and folk tales. Just like Tagore’s plays, Taj’s plays had to be presented using a special language. The playwright’s demise at the age of 36 was a great loss to Indian theatre in general and Malayalam theatre in particular, Mr. Krishnamoorthy said.

Mayor A.K. Premajam presided over the inaugural function. Taj’s play Mukham was staged later. Earlier, the programme started with a get-together of theatre personalities.

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