History of theatre Companies in Karnataka
Theatre Companies in Karnataka emerged around the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The years from 1880 to 1920, were popularly known as the period of 'Kannada Renaissance' brought significant changes in the field of theatres too. The theatres during that time encompassed themes related to society. The theatre companies travelled from one place to another to popularize the Kannada form of entertainment. These professional artistes donated their talent to echo the grandeur of the era.
Some of the popular theatre companies in Karnataka are as follows:
Nataka Mandali: One of the outstanding performances was added by Nataka Mandali. This is among the theatre Companies in Karnataka which has gained acknowledgment for their theatrical skill the spectacular quality. This theatre company emerged in the early part of the 20th century and continued to entertainment the masses. Furthermore, Nataka Mandali emerged as the first modern commercial theatre of the region. However, in the present decade the Nataka Mandali tradition became extinct and another theatre troupe Ranga Shankara came into being to carry forward the legacy of the company theatre.
Rangayana: It is a theatre institute which operates from Mysore, Karnataka. It works as an independent cultural organization. The group consists of a specialized repertory company, a theatre-training institute and a documentation and research centre. Rangayana offers courses in stage craft, preparation and staging of plays in Kannada. It also conducts programs for promotion of Kannada theatre. Rangayana organizes theme based national festivals which receive good response and attracts enthusiasts from all over the country.
Ranga Shankara: Ranga Shankara is prominent among the theatre Companies in Karnataka. This theatre group in Karnataka has set up an eponymous modern theatre facility in Bengaluru. Modern Kannada theatre originated in the year 1918 and several theatre personalities of Karnataka, such as T.P. Kelaram, K.S. Karanth, A.N.Krishna Rao affected the modern theatre of the state. In addition to Girish Karnad, P. Lankesh and their other contemporaries have contributed a great deal to the Kannada theatre.
Yours Truly Theatre: Yours Truly Theatre is a registered Nonprofit Organization in Karnataka. With over 300 interactive theatre performances with a team of around 100 members, 9 Advisory Board members and 7 international mentors, it is reaching out to a miscellaneous audiences and venues.
We Move Theatre: We Move Theatre, founded by Abhishek Iyengar and Rangaraj Bhatracharya, have been in the field for last 10 years and perform Kannada and English productions commonly in Bengaluru and Mysore, nationally across India with Hyderabad and in New York too. They launched ‘Theatre-based Solutions’ in 2013, which forges forward to bring theatre among corporate, and theatre for education in schools.
Jagriti Theatre: Jagriti is a Performance Arts space devoted to Theatre, Music, Dance and Comedy. Founded in 2011 by Arundhati and Jagdish Raja, the space has hosted numerous productions from India and around the world. Jagriti is owned and operated by the not-for profit ART Foundation, a registered charitable trust.
KBR Drama Company: It is one of the oldest professional theatre companies in the State. Its play ‘Polisana Magalu’ has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for unbroken run of over 1,132 shows.
Apart from these the other theatre companies in Karnataka are Sangameshwara Natya Sangha, Gudigeri, Hubli; Sri Kumareshwara Krupa Ghoshita Pandit Panchakshara Gawai Natak Sangha, Gadag, Davanagere; Sri Kumaravijaya Natak Sangha, Chittaragi, Bagewadi taluk, Bijapur; Sri Guru Kumareshwara Natya Sangha, Hanagal, Bijapur; Sri Guru Tontadarya Natya Sangha, Mandalageri, Yalburga taluk in Koppal district; Sri Guru Vishwardhya Natya Sangha, Jevargi, Gulbarga; Vishwajyothi Sri Panchakshara Natya Sangha, Gadag; Sri Sangameshwara Natya Sangha, Ashapura, Raichur; Sri Shiradi Sai Baba Natya Sangha, Vitalapura, Bidar; Sri Gurupadalingeshwara Natya Sangha, Humnabad taluk, Bidar; Sri Khasgatheshwara Natya Sangha, Talikote, Bijapur; Sri Manjunath Natya Sangha, Ranebennur, Haveri; Karnataka Kalavaibhava Sangha, Rajajinagar, Bengaluru; Veereshwara Natya Sangha, Nalaktavada, Muddebehal taluk, Bijapur; and C S R Drama Company, Gubbi. The plays organized by the theatre groups reflect the relevant concern of the society including historical, mythological, social and political aspect. Moreover, the theatre companies are theatre groups, who constantly influence the theatres through their involvement, acting style and dramatization and writing skills.