Prekshaka theatre group initiative on World Theatre Day
Theatre artistes are struggling for a stage. The audience is shrinking. Is there a way out for Malayalam drama, which used to the highlight of every festival venue once upon a time? How to save drama from the peril? “By staging plays,” said Jaishankar Pothuvath, veteran theatre personality associated with the Prekshaka theatre group.
Speaking during the launch of the Save Drama Campaign here on the occasion of World Drama Day, Mr. Pothuvath noted that Malayalam drama these days had international audience thanks to the influx of technology. But at the same time, low-budget plays were not accepted at all. He stressed that the campaign aimed to change this situation.
The organisers plan to come up with some quality plays that would be staged along the length and breadth of the State with an aim to bringing the audience back to theatre. Besides, some classes and workshops are also planned.
Uniqueness of theatre
Historian M.G.S. Narayanan, who launched the campaign, pointed out that though cinema, radio and television could be mainly blamed for the public’s loss of interest in theatre, the lack of people with the vision to execute a play with patience was also a reason.“The uniqueness of theatre compared to cinema is that it could interact directly with the audience. It is where the stage, the backstage and the audience come together,” he said analysing the progression of Malayalam drama over the years.However, he expressed an anxiety as to what extent a revival of theatre was practically possible.
The Save Drama Campaign was launched under the aegis of the Nataka Gurukulam of the Prekshaka theatre group in association with Socio- Religious Centre Inter-growth Institute and ‘Ezhuthu’ magazine.
Purushan Kadalundy, MLA; and District Panchayat president Babu Parasseri, both with a theatre background, were present on the occasion, besides cinema and theatre personalities Kozhikode Narayanan Nair and Wilson Samuel.A ‘drama therapy’ session was organised on the occasion.The next programme under the Save Drama Campaign will be held at Kozhikode Town Hall on June 24.Koottalum Kizhikkalum Perukkalum Harikkalum , a play by Prekshaka, will be staged on the occasion.