THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Theatre artists in Kerala are eyeing the world stage like those in Paris and the European countries instead of performing in the state, says theatre personality, K G Krishnamurthy. He was speaking at the ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised as part of the five-day theatre workshop which is being held under the aegis of the ‘Kalam’ theatre group led by Prasanth Narayanan.
According to him, though theatre in Kerala is rich in talents and the productions are high in quality, it is sad to note nobody is keen to perform in the state. “In Karnataka, at every nook and cranny, we have an audience for drama. At least fifty shows are staged every day. But in Kerala even the very great productions fail to get more than three or four shows,” he says.
Though theatre in Karnataka is not up to the mark qualitatively, Kerala has achieved quality on par with the international shows. “The reason theatre in Kerala has achieved such great heights is due to its proximity to the traditional art forms and classical acting,” he says. But, he says, lack of an appreciating audience will spell doom for theatre in the state. “Youngsters need to come forward and show the way,” he adds.
Revolt is the strength of theatre
The strength of theatre lies in its ability to revolt and raise a banner of protest, Krishnamurthy says. “We always stand against ‘Prabhutwa’ and power. Even if our party assumes power we should revolt against it if it is found to be using power in the wrong way. However, it is worrying to see the artists slowly losing their strength to revolt,” he says.
On the increase in sponsorship and subsidies given for production by the government, he says, “Even the corporate houses are ready to sponsor shows. But while accepting such sponsors the theatre personalities should be aware of the strings that come attached.
Theatre is not to entertain people
According to him, theatre is not a medium for entertainment in the first place. “It is a societal activity that aims to develop a society through the medium of theatre,” he says. “When we become professional, the societal part slips away,” he adds.
Krishnamurthy says the newcomers in the field are alineating themselves from society since they don’t think it as an important factor and give emphasis to production only.
School and colleges should become nurseries
Concerted efforts should be made to bring children to the theatre by giving them appropriate training. “Involve children, they will become an audience. Also, it is important to conduct workshops for school and college teachers since they can be better tutors when they bring in the element of theatrics into their teaching,” he says.
Speaking to Express on the sidelines of the inaugural session, he says, “I am not satisfied with the functioning of the drama schools. We are not changing according to the need of time. Day by day world is changing. So, the curriculum and methodology of teaching should also change. We need teachers who inspire and facilitate their students.”
He said there is no point in blaming theatre artistes moving to the cinema since everyone must accept they have to earn a living too.