(Last Updated on : 22/07/2009)
Motiram Gajanan Rangnekar is a landmark in modern professional Marathi theatre. This personality was born in 1907. Previously he was employed as a journalist. afterwards he founded his company Natyaniketan in 1941 and for thirty-two years thereafter, consistently produced a play every year. The mesmeric hold of the newly arrived cinema had left only a few surviving, disorganized theatre troupes when Rangnekar ventured into this industry, calling himself as a skilful salesman who displays his wares attractively.
Eminent actors like Jyotsna Bhole and P. L. Deshpande
joined as paid employees. He wrote as well as directed. His most popular drama with about 2000 performances, Kulavadhu i.e. 'Family Bride' in 1942 was based on Ibsen's A Doll's House. But here the protagonist, a film actress, leaves for her in-laws' house. Other important plays are Ashirvad i.e. 'Blessing' in 1941, Alankar i.e. 'Ornament' in 1944, Vahini i.e. 'Sister-in-law' in 1945, Ekhota mhatara ot 'There Was an Old Man' in 1948, Nandanvan i.e. 'Paradise' in 1949, Maker i.e. 'Mother's Home' in 1951, etc. Rambha in 1952, Lilav i.e. 'Auction' in 1955, Dhakti ai i.e. 'Young Stepmother' in 1956 and Bhatala dili osri i.e. 'Give Him an Inch' in 1956 are also worth mentionable.
Rangnekar fused apparently modern ideas with orthodox domestic relationships, and used melodramatic sequences but sleek dialogue coupled with a few short songs. The novel one-act-one-setting structure, realistic sets, and middle-class values characterized his formula. In his direction Vasant Kanetkar's musical Lekure tuiandjali i.e. 'Too Many Brats' in 1966 was much acclaimed. Motiram Gajanan Rangnekar died in 1995.
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