RAJAHMUNDRY:The Andhra Pradesh Government has selected two eminent stage artistes Pepakula Lakshaman Rao (75) and Nalluri Venkateswarulu (80) for the award of ‘NTR Rangastala Puraskaram’ for 2013 and 2014 respectively, according to Rajahmundry MP Maganti Murali Mohan.
Speaking to newsmen here Sunday, he said that chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu would present the awards to them on the last day of the ‘Nandi Natakotsvalu’ on June 1.
The two artistes would be given a cash prize of Rs 1.50 lakh each along with a shawal and a memento, he added.
Lakshmana Rao had staged the musical stage play ‘Ramanjaneya Yuddam’ 15,000 times across the state. He had mastered the show’s music though he had not had any formal education.
There had been a time when he had staged the play twice a day because the demand from the public. Lakhs of LP records and audio cassettes of ‘Ramanjaneya Yuddam’ have been sold so far.
Born in Sampatnagar of Rajanagaram mandal in East Godavari district, Lakshmana Rao had received several awards and many commendations during his long association with the theatre.
Nalluri Venkateswarulu, who had striven hard for popularizing stage plays in the state, is a stage artiste, producer and director. He has 500 disciplies in theatre arts and is known as Anna among them. He had staged the play ‘Rudraveena’ 200 times in the state.
He had also played key roles in the stage plays ‘Bhagat Singh’, ‘Ranabhoomi’, ‘Potugadda’, ‘Peda Rythu’ and ‘Palle Paduchu’. He is the president ot Ongole NTR Kala Parishad. He was born in Narasayapalem of Prakasam district.
The different plays staged on the second day of the ongoing fortnight-long Nandi Natakotsavams at the Sri Venkateswara Anam Kala Kendram here on Sunday enthralled the audience. It was a full house at the auditorium throughout the day. ‘Bhakta Prahlada’ (‘Padya Natakam’), ‘Alluri Sitarama Raju’ (Childrens’ Social playlet), ‘Chettu’ (Social stage play), ‘Maturka’ (Social stageplay) and ‘Paranna Jeevulu’ (Social stageplay) were the different plays staged on Sunday. Of them all ‘Bhakta Prahlada’, staged by the artistes of Nava Kranthi Cultural Association of Hyderabad, stole the show and received the highest applause from the audience. Mainly, the action of Chiru Sai as ‘Bhakta Prahlada’ impressed everyone. The scenes depicting Prahlada being thrown into fire, into sea and being fed poison and Lord Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy emerging from a pillar were awesome and held the audience spellbound.