Infusing life into the art of ‘natakam’

 An initiative to keep the fledgling theatre art afloat has brought cheers to many as this initiative helped unearth the artistic talent among them.

Published: 17th April 2022 05:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2022 05:20 AM   |  A+A-

Amateur artistes take part in a theatre workshop  at Rangasayi Nataka Grandhalayam | G Satyanarayana

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: An initiative to keep the fledgling theatre art afloat has brought cheers to many as this initiative helped unearth the artistic talent among them. From eight-year-old to 54-year-old, all are honing their acting skills at a workshop being conducted for the first time by a non-government institution in Visakhapatnam. After four weeks of training —  which is likely to be extended by another two weeks —  the amateur artistes are now ready to stage skits and plays. 

There is an eight-point strategy to make them full-fledged artistes at the theatre acting workshop being held at Rangasayi Nataka Grandhalayam by Rangasai Nataka Sangham and Navarasa Theatre Arts Association. 

Double gold medalist and Nandi awards winner PV Ramana Murthy, who is the chief mentor of the workshop, said the workshop will bridge the gap in the requirements of stage artistes. 

Speaking to TNIE, he said: “There are instances where 60-year-old artistes are donning the role of teens. With the advent of short films and web series on OTT platforms, many are looking forward to seize acting opportunities under arc lights. There are six BTech, including two employees of Tech Mahindra, three BCom graduates, and an MBA student besides three inter and two school-going students, who are vying with one another to excel in their skills. There is digital marketing personnel working on an OTT platform.” 

The budding artistes will be stage-ready and the workshop will help them in developing their personality, he said, adding that they are planning to stage ‘Hiranyagarbha’ as part of the training. Sunitha, mother of 8-year-old Pujitha, said ‘Mahanati,’ the biopic of actor Savitri, has been a great aspiration for many artistes, who failed in the beginning in launching a career.

Sunitha, who is working as a nurse in a hospital said she could not realise her dream. She decided to groom her daughter to become an actor. After she came to know about the workshop, Sunitha got Pujitha sign up for the training.  She said her daughter is now doing wonders. Assistant instructor Hema, who has over 186 awards in her kitty, said natakam is her lifeline and she has been in the field for the last 30 years.
She said those who excel in theatre can perform any character in films. She said natakam should be included in school syllabus as acting will help in personality development, and improve expressions and body movement. 

“It will also help enhance the knowledge of the student. It will help them in overcoming stage fright,” she said. She stressed on the need for more women to participate in the workshop. There is absolutely no age barrier as anyone can learn acting at any stage of his or her life, she said.

Badamgir Sai, founder of Rangasai Nataka Grandhalayam, said the workshop was launched with the basic objective of motivating youngsters into acting. “We are happy with the response the workshop is receiving. In view of an ever-increasing number of enquiries we are planning to hold more workshops in the future,” he added. 

They are holding training classes for children from 10 am to 6 pm each Sunday. He said Visakhapatnam is better placed when compared to other places in the State as far as patronage for theatre is concerned. Badamgir said though he is over-ambitious he wants every house should have an artiste. He will take it up as mission. There are about 20,000 books on Telugu plays and of them, he had procured around 10,000 books and has been trying to get the remaining books.

Yashwant, a BTech graduate, said he learned the nuances of acting at the workshop.April 16 is observed as the Telugu Nataka Ranga Dinotsavam to mark the birth anniversary of Kandukuri Veeresalingam.


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