Kalaimamani PK Sambandan’s Play: Karna Motcham

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Director: Kalaimamani P.K.Sambandan
Group: Purisai Duraisami Kannappa Thambiran Parambarai Therukoothu Manram, Tamilnadu
Language: Tamil
Duration: 1 hr 35 mins

The Play
After the 16 days of continuous defeat, on the 17th day, before going to war, Karnan visits his wife as it could be his last visit. His wife refuses to see him and calls him low-born. Then Karnan reveals the secret of his birth that he is the first son of Kunti and Sun god, and the eldest Pandava. His wife implores him to join their side in the battlefield. He refuses saying that it was Duryodhanan who accepted him despite his birth. In the battlefield, Karnan is defeated through Krishna’s deceit. In a conversation with Duryodhana, Karnan reveals that he has readied the weapon of war, Nagastram, to kill Arjuna, but he needs King Salliyan as charioteer to depose or challenge Arjuna in the war.

Director’s Note
Therukoothu is a traditional and popular form of folk theatre from the interiors of Tamil Nadu. Its themes are drawn from Indian mythology and epics, particularly, the Mahabharata. Its performance is a combination of three main modes of creative expression i.e. verse recital, song and dance. Not only does it serve as means of entertainment for rural folks, but also displays a ritualized trajectory of traditional human values. Rituals are meant to merge the dramatic identities of performers with viewers’ participation.

The Director
Kalaimamani Sambandan was born in 1953. He is the younger son of Kalaimamani Purisai Kannappa Thambiran and fifth generation artiste of the Purisai School of Therukoothu. He performs as lead actor in the productions. He has participated in workshops conducted in NSD, by Bansi Kaul at Gandhigram, and by Badal Sircar and Ingbor Mayor. He has conducted major workshops on Therukoothu with NSD and at a variety of venues and prestigious theatre organisations and occasions in cities including New Delhi, Pondicherry, Singapore and Colombia. He directed his group’s Therukoothu version of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s An Old Man with Huge Wings, at Bogotá, Colombia, and Bertolt Brecht’s, Caucasian Chalk Circle. Some of his Therukoothu choreographic performances have been in collaboration with Une Chambre En Inde of Theatre du Soleil, Paris; and God has changed his name with Avanthi Meduri. He has received many national and international honours and awards.

The Group
Purisai troupe is run by a family of fifth generation of artistes of the traditional folk form of Tamil Nadu, Therukoothu, headed by Sambandan Thambiran. The group has widened the tableau of its presence by introducing contemporary, Indian and foreign works in their originally traditional repertoire from 1984 onwards. Along with Indian epics Ramayan and Mahabharata their work now spans Thenali Raman, Caucasian Chalk Circle (Bertolt Brecht), Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s An Old Man with Huge Wings in Therukoothu, and a collaboration with Theatre du Soleil, Paris in Arianne’s Une Chambre En Inde.
The group runs a school of Therukoothu in Purisai village since 2007 for all ages with an aim to prepare professional Therukoothu artistes and preserve the art form. The students are introduced to other art forms too. The group invites other art forms to perform at their eagerly awaited annual Kalaimamani Kannappa Thambiran Memorial Theatre Festival.

Cast & Credits
Kattiyakaran V. Baskaran
Duriyodhanan Kalaimamani P. K. Sambandan
Karnan Palani Murugan
Salliyan S. Muthukumar
Ponnuruvi S. Gowri
Arjunan E. Prakashraj
Krishnan V. Hariprasath
Mridangam G. Vijayan
Harmonium S. Raghupathy
Mugaveenai Elumalai
Thaalam S. Baskaran, M. Sampath Kumar
Curtain Holders S. Manikandan, K. Saravanan,
Back stage P. Sivasankaran, R. Arunachalam

Director Kalaimamani P. K. Sambandan

Contacts
Purisai Duraisami Sannappa Thambiran
Parambarai Therukoothu Manram
No.4, Anna 5th Street, M.G.R. Nagar,
K.K. Nagar P.O., Chennai- 600078, Tamil Nadu
M: +91 9566171624, 9486171771
E: [email protected]

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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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