KURUKSHETHRA Director: M. Ganesh

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Playwrights: B. Puttaswammayya, P. Vajrappa, Kallor Shreenivas & P Kuvmpu
Director: M. Ganesh
Group:  Satyashodhana Ranga Samudaya, Heggodu
Language: Kannada
Duration: 2 hrs 15 mins

The Play
On the basis of the text of Mahabharatha along with the text of the play Kurukshethra by B. Puttswamaiah and P.Vajrappa, the masters of Karnataka company theatre, this performance has evolved keeping in mind the present times. It has been performed as Kurukshethra/Shri Krishna Sandhana all over Karnataka by P. Vajrappa and Kalluru Shrinivas. Their texts and songs are used in our production along with the poems of Kuvempu.

Director’s Note
In my native place, Thimmappana Halli and in surrounding villages, I enjoyed watching the enactment of Kurukshetra, Ramayana, Danashura Karna, Raja Vikrama etc. that were performed annually. When I came to Bangalore for my higher studies, my ties with company theatre were left behind. When I look back and think about how I felt then, watching company theatre, I feel amused. I wouldn’t miss even the all-night rehearsals of these plays. As I was a kid I wouldn’t get any opportunities to act but no one could withhold my opportunity to watch those plays. Saturdays and Sundays being holidays, it was my turn to look after the cattle. I used to rehearse these stories with my fellow cattle men. The mud from the wells that were being dug was our ‘Aharya’ (Make-up), the bamboo sticks were our bows and arrows, worn out plastic pitcher the weapons (Gada), the surrounding lakes became rivers and seas, the greenery was a dense forest, and we the characters of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. I had never thought that the games, which we played as kids, would become the texts for my future studies. Ninasam has taught me these playful games in our theatre course, but with discipline. In the year 2014-15 Ninasam trained students with different texts of Kurukshethra. Though the group was of young students, their singing and acting was of professional level. The nearby villagers came in crowds to watch this play. I had thought of doing this play much earlier for Janumanadata, but it couldn’t be possible for many reasons. Now, the actors Manju Sirigere, Nagaraja Sirsi, Sharath S Mysore, Uma Y G Kolara, Shrinivasa Murthy Tumkuru, along with the help of other actors and technicians, came together to recreate this play for Janumanadata.

The Director
Dr. M. Ganesh did his Masters in Kannada from Bangalore University. He completed theatre training at Ninasam Ranga Shikshana Kendra, Heggodu and then got appointed as a faculty at Ninasam. He received Doctorate from Kuvempu University for his thesis on Kannada Rangabhoomiya Hosa Sadhyathegalu (New possibilities in Kannada theatre). Being an actor, director and organizer, he has worked in many theatre troupes including Ninasam Tirugata, Charaka, Kinnaramela, Protheo, Spandana, Kagodu Rangamancha, Nanu Mandya and others. Sangeet Natak Academi awarded him with Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar. He was also awarded the best actor award for the movie Dhali in Bellimandala and Ambegalu film festival. Currently he is working as the Director of Shivamogga Rangayana.

The Group
In order to keep up the dreams of liberty, equality and fraternity, and to keep Ninasam training active and creative for two more months after completion of the course, a group Janumanadata was started and has been running for the past thirteen years. It was officially renamed Satyashodhana Ranga Samudaya in 2016. The group works under the leadership of Dr. M. Ganesh, the teacher at Ninasam institute, along with Ninasam pass-outs and other theatre lovers.

Cast & Credits
On Stage: Y Manjunath, Nagaraj Sirsi, Uma Y G, Alebasappa, Manjappa Huligi, Shivaraja, Vani Reddy, Poornima,
Sathish Chauhan, Basavaraj, Dingri Naresh, Peerappa H Doddamani, Naveen Prathap, Rajath, Shruthi V, Mahantesh, Durga

Music: Arun Kumar M
Music operation:  Raghav Kammar, Basavaraj
Lighting: Sathish Chauhan

Playwrights: B. Puttaswammayya, P. Vajrappa, Kallor Shreenivas & P Kuvmpu
Director: M. Ganesh

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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