Social Issues in Kannada Theatre
C Basavalingaiah and Lakshmana KP
C Basavalingaiah is the Director of the National School of Drama Bengaluru Centre since 2014. A theatre director and activist, he is the former director of Rangayana Mysuru from 1996 to 2001. He worked as Assistant Director in the National School of Drama Regional Resource Center (NSD RRC) from 1994-1996 and as Repertory Chief of Rangayana from 1988 to 1994. Among his many awards are the Karnataka Nataka Academy Honorary Fellowship Award in 1996, the Government of Karnataka Dr. Ambedkar Cultural Award in 2000, the Karnataka State Rajyotsava Award in 2001 and the National School of Drama New Delhi’s BV Karanth Smriti Purskar for his contribution to theatre.
His theatre journey began with active involvement in the Samudaya Cultural Theatre movement. Among the many plays he has directed is a mega nine-hour play in 2010 enacted in four different open areas with 150 artists, an adaptation of Kuvempu’s Malegalalli Madhumagalu, the Bride in the Mountains. He has directed plays in Kannada, Telugu, Assamese and Malayalam. He has also composed music and done music direction for plays.
He did his Post Graduation in the National School of Drama (N.S.D.) with a specialization in `Direction’ and his M.A. in Kannada Literature from the University of Mysore. He has taught the National School of Drama’s Theatre Workshop in many cities and has been visiting faculty at several universities. He has also been a writer of short stories and play adaptations, and a translator from English to Kannada of plays by Brecht, Wole Soyinka, John Steinbeck and Safdar Hashmi.
Lakshmana, founder member of Jangama Collective is an actor, director, poet, and performance educator from Karnataka, India. He graduated from the Intercultural Theatre Institute Singapore in 2018 and from Ninasam Theatre Institute in 2012. Lakshman has been exploring questions around Dalit aesthetics in performance, and his two recent plays We the People of India and Daklakatha Devikavya explore intersecting questions about Dalit political modernity and cultural memory.