The 12-day annual drama pageant, Kodai Nataka Vizha, that showcases new and established theatre teams, begins at present

The 12-day annual drama pageant, that showcases new and established theatre teams, begins at present

The Fifties heralded the daybreak of a brand new period in Tamil theatre, when a number of beginner troupes have been based. Over the following three a long time, they performed an necessary function in making a vibrant theatre ambiance, the place nearly each play drew large crowds. The period additionally noticed a number of new writers making their debut, with a couple of additionally graduating to writing for movies. It was the late Kartik Rajagopal, who noticed the necessity to promote beginner theatre. ‘My father, an awesome theatre lover, was one of many founder-members of Mylapore Fine Arts Club in 1951. Many veterans comparable to Cho, Ok. Balachander, Komal Swaminathan, Jaishankar, and ‘Major’ Sundararajan inaugurated their performs underneath the Mylapore Fine Arts Club banner. The heat relationship continued when he began Kartik Fine Arts in 1975. Many troupes started premiering their performs at KFA,” says Rajagopal Sekar, the present secretary of the sabha.

But a devoted pageant for theatre, on the strains of the December music season, didn’t come about till 1990. At the suggestion of KFA’s then president, A.V.S. Raja, the primary Kodai Nataka Vizha was held that yr. For the primary few years, the pageant featured performs by established troupes comparable to Crazy Creations, UAA, and Natakhapriya. Recognising the necessity to encourage younger actors, administrators and writers, which he deemed important for the survival and development of theatre, Kartik Rajagopal recommended that the pageant be restructured as a drama competitors, the place new scripts can be inaugurated and would compete for a prize. The first Kodai Nataka Vizha, underneath this new format, was held in 1996.

A section of the audience at the Narada Gana Sabha, during the Kodai Nataka Vizha, in 2016. 2016.

A piece of the viewers on the Narada Gana Sabha, throughout the Kodai Nataka Vizha, in 2016. 2016.
| Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam/The Hindu

Perfect platform

Over the course of its journey, the theatre pageant has served as an awesome platform for each beginner and established theatre teams. ‘We are extraordinarily pleased to have staged the performs of a number of well-known writers comparable to Chandramohan, Sreevathson of Dummies, and Muthukumaran, to call a couple of,” says Rajagopal Sekar.

Planning for the occasion begins quickly after the annual December artwork pageant, when letters are despatched out to numerous troupes inviting their participation. In the previous, troupes from Coimbatore and Bengaluru too have carried out on theVizha. That the pageant is recognised as a serious platform at present to inaugurate a play is borne by the truth that greater than 15 scripts have been obtained this yr for an accessible slot of 12 performs. “We guarantee a mixture of first-timers and common performers. And those that don’t discover a place within the pageant, we attempt to accommodate them in our month-to-month programmes.” The 2022 version options 4 first-timers.


Drawing new audiences, particularly children, is the opposite necessary goal of the pageant. A cause why it has at all times been a non-ticketed occasion. “It was a aware resolution, as my father wished these performs to achieve a bigger viewers. The pageant is timed to coincide with the summer time trip so that oldsters can watch the performs with their kids, and spend time collectively within the consolation of an air-conditioned corridor,” he says.

Recognition for artistes

Every yr, over 30 awards, and 12 rolling trophies are given underneath numerous classes. The rolling trophies have been sponsored by theatre personalities comparable to S.Ve. Shekher, and troupes comparable to Stage Creations and UAA. Most fittingly, the Best Director trophy has been instituted by Ok. Balachander, whereas the one for one of the best story author, by Kartik Rajagopal himself. With a view to advertise viewers participation, money prizes are additionally awarded for the 2 greatest critiques of every play.

Troupes that win the primary and second prizes are awarded subsidies of ₹ 10,000 and ₹ 5,000 respectively, if their performs are staged 10 occasions earlier than March 31, the next yr.

The thirty first Kodai Nataka Vizha will likely be inaugurated at present (6 p.m.) at Narada Gana Sabha, by N. Ravi, Chairman, Kasturi and Sons Ltd.

The author is a heritage buff and an beginner Tamil theatre artiste.

The Playlist

The following is the listing of performs to be staged throughout the Kodai Nataka Vizha, to be held at Narada Gana Sabha, from April 22 to May 3, 7 p.m.

April 22: Chinchu Pinchu

April 23: Minmanigal

April 24: Panchavadi

April 25: Edhir Vinai

April 26: Aaranju

April 27: Thathpurushaya

April 28: MamaMaaple 2.0

April 29: Title

April 30: Seethapathi

May 1: Tharai Mel Pirakka Vaithaan

May 2: Kadavule Idhu Nyayama?

May 3: Aval Peyar Sakthi

. .