(Last Updated on : 20/08/2014)
Jabbar Razak Patel is a Marathi actor. He was born in Pandharpur, Solapur district in 1942. Jabbar Razak Patel was interested in theatre even as a schoolboy. He was a pediatrician by training. As time passes by, he grew as an actor and director. Though he was a medical student at Pune University, he participated in all the intercollegiate theatre competitions and winning awards every year with noteworthy productions like Vijay Tendulkar's Bali or 'Sacrifice' and Janavar or 'Animal'. This was an adaptation of Edward Albee's Zoo Story.
Later, patel joined Bhalba Kelkar's Progressive Dramatic Association (PDA) and acted in and directed several PDA productions. In 1970, he won the best actor and director awards for Tendulkar's Ashipakhareyeti i.e. 'That's How Birds Arrive' at the Maharashtra State Drama Competition. His major directorial triumph came in 1972, with Tendulkar's 'Ghashiram Kotwal' for the PDA. That was a milestone in the history of Marathi theatre
. The controversy it generated led to a split in the PDA and the birth of Theatre Academy. This was one of the foremost parallel-theatre groups in Maharashtra. The production went on to make a mark internationally, touring Europe and the USA and participating in the Berlin International Theatre Festival. Patel's other significant attempts at direction, for Theatre Academy, were P. L. Deshpande
's Tinpaishacha tamasha or 'Three-paisa Tamasha' in 1978, adapted from Brecht's Threepenny Opera, and Arun Sadhu's Padgham or 'War Drums' in 1984. Like Ghashiram Kotwal, these were musicals based on political themes. From the days of the Study Circle that he started within the PDA to understand Indian and Western theatre and acting theories, and to produce short plays in small halls. Patel did pioneering experimental work and popularized new forms. He consciously avoided overt naturalism and realism, and showed a penchant for big productions.
After 1975, Jabbar Razak Patel concentrated on making hardheaded feature films and documentaries in Marathi and Hindi. These, often scripted by Tendulkar, include Samna or 'Confrontation' in 1975, Simhasan or 'Throne' in 1979, and Umbartha or 'Threshold' in 1981. His documentary The Indian Theatre in 1988 highlights different aspects of urban Indian theatre and also is useful for students.