Andhra Pradesh State Film TV, Theatre Development Corporation (APSFTVTDC) is exploring the possibility of setting up a National School of Drama (NSD) at Rajahmundry, considered to be the cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh.
The Corporation Managing Director P. Krishna Mohan said the Rajahmundry MP is pursuing the issue.
As part of his efforts to encourage theatre and art, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is keen that the theatre training institute be set up at Rajahmundry, said Mr. Krishna Mohan.
The autonomous organisation will come under the Union Ministry of Culture. The decision is hailed by artists and theatre personalities in the region who said establishment of such body in this culturally fertile region was ‘long overdue’.
“It’s a very good move but Vijayawada would have been a better place for NSD because this place has a 150-year-old history of theatre. The present day Durga Kala Mandir cinema theatre was a drama theatre called Mylavaram Raja Hall, a very active theatre patronised by Raja of Mylavaram. In fact, Vijayawada was the supplier of artistes to Madras industry,” says M. C. Das, a stage actor who actively contributed to theatre festivals in the past.
Reiterating that Vijayawada has a glorious history of robust theatre, he reminded of names like Jandhyala Viswanath and Veturi Sundararama Murthy.
Rajamundry is a culture hub while Vijayawada is the epicentre of drama, he maintained.
Folklore artist Karnati Lakshmi Narasaiah emphasises that Vijayawada is a traditional wealth. “Government has failed to create public interest in theatre art. Take for instance the Nandi Natakotsavam; they are conducted like a routine jatara. We have good artistes around and people capable of extending patronage. Why then is the government failing to do its part? The proposed NSD perhaps will help improve the scenario in the days to come,” says the 91-year-old artist.
The corporation meanwhile has also invited applications for Nandi Natakotsavam Awards in the categories of social, mythological and poetic dramas.
“Each district will have its independent screening committee which will handle the preliminary rounds of performances by artistse and short-list them for the final round that will take place at Tirupati,” said Mr. Krishna Mohan. “Last year, we received 240 entries and this year too, we expect more or less the same,” he says.
Author - P. SUJATHA VARMA
Source - The Hindu