Totally into theatre

K.V. Ganesh with his children’s theatre group.

K.V. Ganesh with his children’s theatre group.  

Twenty seven years and counting, K.V. Ganesh has been the soul of ‘Rangachethana’, a theatre group in Thrissur that has moulded many theatre and film artistes. His name, thus, has almost become synonymous with theatre.

What is notable about ‘Rangachethana’ is its emphasis on promoting children’s theatre. Their major initiative in children’s theatre is a regular one-month ‘Drama Camp’ held in Thrissur during the summer vacation, which is free of cost to participants.

Rangachethana’s drama camp for students started about two decades ago and Ganesh has been associated with it as master trainer and camp director ever since.

It also organises theatre workshops, training programmes, and provides a stage to artistes to demonstrate skills in theatre.

Today, as the director of the professional wing of Rangachethana’s drama troupe, Ganesh has his unique style of training budding talents and his efforts have started to bear fruit.

For the fifth consecutive year, child artistes trained by K.V. Ganesh are performing at the National Drama Festival in New Delhi, organised by the National School of Drama from November 14 to 25.

The troupe will perform “Aaleesinte albhutha lokam” (Alice in Wonderland) a theatre version of Lewis Carroll’s famous story scripted in Malayalam and directed by Ganesh himself.

The 40-minute play will be staged on November 22 at the 13th edition of ‘Jashne Bachpan,’ a national drama festival.

“I used to suffer from stage fright that was when my parents asked me to join Ganesh Master’s drama camp two years ago. Today, I am the best actor in my school and going to perform at the National Children’s Drama festival along with my friends,” says Pranoi Raphael Raju, a ninth standard student of Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Poochatty.

Children’s troupe of Ganesh made their debut at the national drama festival in 2009 with “Kunjichirakukal” (Little Wings) written by Kavalam Narayana Panickar and directed by Ganesh. Under the banner of ‘Rangachethana,’ the children’s troupe has performed plays, which are written, scripted and directed by K.V. Ganesh, in 2010, 2012 and 2014, at the National Drama Festival.

Drama has never been a money-making activity for Ganesh.

“For me, drama is the best tool to interpret society and I am keen on creating awareness among children on social issues through theatre,” says Ganesh.

His drama, based on a famous work by Jnanpith awardee Maheshweta Devi, has been applauded as an eye opener on the lives of Adivasi girls in Idukki. The stage show for the Adivasi students of the Bridge school in Wayanad was also well-noticed.

“We use drama as a tool to develop inter-personal communication skills among mentally challenged persons and we have been involving with Ganesh as our resource person’’ says P. Bhanumathi, Secretary of Association for Mentally Handicapped Adults (AMHA), Thrissur.

“I never thought my students could perform a drama. But Ganesh made it possible. His patience, care and hard work have proved that the mentally challenged too can do it. We have staged four dramas including one at the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi,” adds Dr. Bhanumathi.

Author of three books on drama, Ganesh wants to keep contributing his heart and soul to the world of theatre.

‘Rangachethana’ holds a one-month ‘Drama Camp’ in Thrissur during the

summer vacation

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