Theatre

Play on Vivekananda staged

At the felicitation ceremony.

At the felicitation ceremony.  

more-in

The play ‘Vivekananda’ was staged to mark the felicitation ceremony of theatre veteran Y. K. Nageswara Rao.

Shrutilaya Arts Academy is one of the active cultural organisations holding musical and theatre events for the last 12 years. The academy celebrated its anniversary last week at Ravindra Bharathi. Its founding secretary Amani is a well known singer too. On this occasion the Academy arranged staging of one of the masterpieces of Yuvakala Vauhini theatre unit — Vivekananda, featuring Y.K. Nageswara Rao in the title role. In recognition of Nageswara Rao’s services to the theatre, Shrutilaya Arts Academy felicitated him by presenting him with Life Time Achievement Award. The award was presented by Telangana State Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy.

Nageswara Rao is also well known for holding a variety of events that included presenting awards every year to chosen thespians, naming the awards after theatre personalities of the past. Nageswara Rao launched his acting career in films initially. Later he stuck to theatre and produced full length plays. Of these productions biographical plays Subhash Chandra Bose, Vivekananda, Rana Pratap, Samrat Ashok and Gowthama Buddha are significant productions. Of them Swamy Vivekananda has had multiple staging all over the state and once in US.

This play was written by P.V. Krishnamurthy and directed by S.M. Basha, both experienced hands, well connected with Yuvakala Vauhini’s theatre activities.

Vivekananda’s story line written for this play basically stuck to his experiences across the country he toured before he went to Chicago (US) to take part in ‘World Parliament of Religions’. Vivekananda as young Narendra meeting spiritual guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in quest of God was an interesting scene the play opened with. The equation between them gets well set. After the demise of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his own father too, in one year gap, Vivekananda, with spirit of renunciation, starts touring the country wearing ochre robes and starts spreading his guru’s message across the country. In the process he changes the mindset of a railway station master who plans to take to sanyas, saying that was not right time for renunciation. Vivekananda then arrives at the palace of king Khetri Maharaja who does not believe in idol worship. A sequence set to support idol worship giving reasons for it was a well dramatised sequence. The rest shows his journey to Chennai from where he goes to the US with the help of one Manmadhanatha Bhattacharya.

The crucial part of the play was set in Chicago where, providentially, a lady by name George Hale was his hostess till he left the US. The play ended with Vivekananda’s astonishing speech — the gist of it being prayers in all religions, though different in nature, reach single almighty like different rivers merging in seas. Nageswara Rao played Vivekananda and the highlight of his performance lay in his in the act set in the International conference of religions and Nageswara Rao repeating the speech given by Vivekananda in the conference proved a thrilling sequence. K.R.K. Murthy as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa too presented his role with imagination keeping up to spiritual element. N. Rama Rao as Khetri Maharaj; G.B. Ramakrishna Sastry taking two roles of Station master and Manmadha Bhattacharya, Lanka Lakhminarayana in the female role of George Hans and Bhilai Sarama as king Mangal Singh also gave impressive portrayals.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 6:06:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/the-play-vivekananda-was-staged-to-mark-the-felicitation-ceremony-of-theatre-veteran-y-k-nageswara-rao/article7818103.ece

Next Story