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Theatre rejuvenation, a success story

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HISTORIC: A scene from the play ‘Maaveeran Alexander’
HISTORIC: A scene from the play ‘Maaveeran Alexander’

Syed Muthahar Saqaf

Scheme introduced by South Zone Cultural Centre has opened the door for revival of the art

TIRUCHI: Theatre industry in the State has received a big push, thanks to the ‘Theatre rejuvenation scheme’ introduced by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur.

Joining hands with the Department of Art and Culture and Rasika Ranjana Sabha, Tiruchi, the centre has been staging plays regularly, much to the enthusiasm of art lovers and drama artistes.

So far, 15 plays have been staged here, providing ample opportunities to a large number of artistes to brush up their talent. It has also led to revival of an art that was fast fading into oblivion due to lack of patronage.

Stage plays, once a major source of entertainment for people of all age groups, lost its lustre, particularly due to the onslaught of cinema and electronic media. This despite the fact that matinee idols such as Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, Sivaji Ganesan and M.G. Ramachandran made their foray into celluloid world only after undergoing rigorous practice on the stage .

Theatre was so popular that even until a couple of decades ago the government utilised the platform to propagate mass welfare schemes among the people of both urban and rural areas.

However, it soon became a thing of the past and the local artistes were forced to live in penury.

The introduction of the scheme has prompted the Department of Art and Culture to spare no efforts in achieving the desired goal.

“The department and Rasika Ranjana Sabha, a reputed cultural seat promoting art and culture in this part of the State, have taken advantage of the scheme and have already staged 15 plays here so far. The programmes, which were conducted once a month to patronise the drama artistes, evoked overwhelming response both from the artistes and the audience. We have planned to convert it in to a weekly feature,” said Regional Assistant Director of Art and Culture R. Gunasekaran.

Director of South Zone Cultural Centre K.V. Giridhar has evinced a lot of enthusiasm for the success of the scheme.

A historic play, Maveeran Alexander, presented by Ponmalai Sri Vaani Drama Troupe and directed by Athi Sridhar was staged last Saturday.

The auditorium was packed to capacity.

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