(Last Updated on : 07-08-2014)
G. Sankara Pillai was a Malayalam playwright and director. He was a pioneer of experimental theatre. He started as a teacher of Malayalam, but gravitated towards theatre and the folk culture of Kerala. G. Sankara Pillai did this by writing about them and becoming an authority on regional folklore, with two books on the subject. G. Sankara Pillai was a founder member of the Nataka Kalari movement. G. Sankara Pillai organized seminars and workshops in the 1960s to improve the state of Malayalam theatre and give direction to young workers, in collaboration with like-minded theatre enthusiasts like M. Govindan, M. K. K. Nayar, Srikanthan Nair, and C. J. Thomas. G. Sankara Pillai founded the School of Drama at Calicut University in 1977 and served as its Director.
G. Sankara Pillai's main plays are Snehadutan or 'Messenger of Compassion' in 1956, Vivaham svargattil or 'Marriage Is Made in Heaven' in 1958, etc. Puja-muri or 'Puja-room' in 1966, Bharata vakyctm in 1972, Bandi i.e. 'Prisoner' in 1977, Manaltharikal or 'Sand Crystals' in 1978, Karutta daivatte tedi i.e. 'In Search of the Black God' in 1980, and Kiratam i.e. 'Hunter's Tale' in 1985 were also worth mentionable. Western surrealistic techniques and employed body movements from Kalari martial art in appropriate situations. Symbolism, ritualism, and stylization pervade G. Sankara Pillai's plays. In the comparatively popular drama, Avataranam bhrantalayam i.e. 'Presentation: Lunatic Asylum' in 1976, G. Sankara Pillai successfully used a conventional form, and in his children's productions he did not venture into experimentation. G. Sankara Pillai died in 1989.