(Last Updated on : 21-07-2009)
Desi Natak Samaj is a prominent theatre company of Gujarat. In later days it was shifted to Mumbai. This Desi Natak Samaj has a glorious contribution to the so-called 'old' Gujarati theatre. Partners including respected writer-director-actor Dahyabhai Jhaveri, who became sole owner from 1892, established Desi Natak Samaj in 1889. It was housed in Shanti Bhuvan Theatre. They also built a theatre and improvised hall in Bombay. Its productions Subhadraharan i.e. 'Subhadra's Abduction, Sanyukta, Vikramaditya, and Asrumati were very popular with rich and poor alike. Prosperity led to disputes about ownership. The most visionary owners during the company's existence of about eight decades were Nakubhai, Hargovinddas, Uttamlaxmi, and Manibhai.
Prabhulal Dwivedi was the star dramatist and the author of Vadilona vanke i.e. 'For Forefathers' Faults', Malavpati Munj i.e. 'Munj, Lord of Malva', Sirajnddola, Ekabala i.e. 'Weaker Sex', and others. Notable directors after the death of Dahyabhai were Mulchand Mama and Kasambhai Nathubhai Mir, while performers included Pransukh 'Eddie Polo', Ashraf Khan, Anandji Kabutar, Chhagan 'Romeo', Miss Shyamabai, Motibai, and distinguished musicians and singers. In later years the Samaj occupied Bhangwadi Theatre in Bombay but now it is demolished.
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