(Last Updated on : 30/03/2012)
Dr. Vadivel Thambiran Arumugham was born in a traditional Theru-K-Koothu family of Tamil Nadu in 1955. He was the director, playwright, actor, and teacher of Tamil theatre
. His family was very famous as the Terukkuttu
family of the Thambirans in Purisai village, in Tiruvannamalai district
. Arumugham performed with their troupe while pursuing formal academics in Chennai
and Annamalai universities, acquiring a master's degree in Tamil. Vadivel Arumugham then studied theatre at the School of Drama in Calicut University, Thrissur, Kerala, earning a Ph.D. on theatrical explorations into the eunuch festivals of the Aravan temples in Tamil Nadu
Career in Theatre for Vadivel Thambiran Arumugham
Vadivel Arumugham directed many modern plays in Tamil at Thrissur
in 1979-83, at Koothu-p-pattarai, the premier institution in Chennai for theatre training in 1984-7, and at Pondicherry University in 1989 onwards. In these places he teaches theatre. Vadivel Arumugham established his own venture, Thalai-k-kol, to produce his plays, Karunchuzhi i.e. 'Black Whirlpool' in 1990, Usi i.e. "Needle" in 1992, and Tunkikal i.e. "Sleepers" in 1999. Karunchuzhi participated at festivals in Paris, Zurich, and Dortmund in Germany, in 1997. Continuing his association with the family tradition, Dr. Vadivel Thambiran Arumugham took Terukkuttu to Festivals of India in France in the year of 1985 and Sweden in the year of 1987 respectively. Vadivel Arumugham also took it to Paris in 1997. He directed Moliere's George Dandin in Terukkuttu form as Narayana and performed one-man Terukkuttu shows in France and England in 1995, and France and Germany in 1998. Vadivel Arumugham documented on video several Tamil forms, like Terukkuttu, Kaniyan Kuttu, and Devarattam, and the performances of Kannappa Thambiran.
Vadivel Arumugham presently teaches at the School of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University. In 1990 he conceived of the concept of "Prop's Theatre". He received an Indo-French residency award to research contemporary theatre and choreography in 1995. In the same year, Vadivel Arumugham received a fellowship from the British Council to visit London to study contemporary British theatre. Vadivel Arumugham performed one-man Theru-K-koothu performances in the U.K, France, Germany and Switzerland. Vadivel Arumugham authored Karunchuzhi, a collection of his plays, which received state awards in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
, and a prize in recognition from Thirupur Tamil Sangam in 2000. Vadivel Arumugham presented a research paper at the Mid American Theatre Conference in USA in 2005.