The Andhra Nataka Kala Parishath's history can be traced in two stages of development. As for example 1929-43 and 1944 onwards, though its active work ceased by 1960. During the first phase, it served merely as a platform at which established actors, dramatists, and patrons met for an annual festival. Popular plays were performed and useful lectures on important topics of theatre art delivered. In the second phase, the Andhra Nataka Kala Parishath led the important Realistic Movement of Telugu theatre. As against the existing tradition of musical plays i.e. padya natakam, it pleaded for socially relevant theatre. To achieve this, it held annual competitions regarded as a touchstone of artistic excellence, insisting that only social or one-act drama written within the previous five years was eligible to participate and that women should enact female roles.
New plays, performers, and associations that became famous in the next quarter century came out of these competitions. The writers Kondamudi Gopalaraya Sarma, Acharya Atreya, Pinisetti Srirama Murthy, D. V. Narasa Raju, Bellamkonda Ramdas, Avasarala Surya Rao, N. R. Nandi, Bhamidipati Radhakrishna, and Gollapudi Maruthi Rao were the winners. Among the actors Ramachandra Kashyap, K. Venkateswara Rao, Chaganti Sanyasi Raju, J. V. Ramana Murthy, and V. Ramanna Pantulu; the actresses Nirmala, Annapurna, and Lakshmi were prominent. The directors Atreya, Kashyapa, Ramana Murthy, Venkateswara Rao, and Chatla Sreeramulu all emerged from ANKP competitions. However, since 1960 the Andhra Nataka Kala Parishath has not hosted these contests regularly because other financially sounder organizations hold them on a larger scale.