History of Theatre Companies in Kerala
The dominant Hindu culture in Kerala had elaborate traditions of Temple Theatre such as Koodiyattam, Thullal and Kathakali and also ‘Pavaikathakali’ and eventually realistic drama failed to accept respectability or audience. These theatre companies in Kerala then took the initiative to popularize all kinds of stage drama and reached out to the audience with this form of art. The theatre companies in Kerala also worked to develop the Christian theatre and the Christians who lived primarily in central Kerala staged plays on the history of Charlemagne, Jacob of the Old Testament, and on the lives of various saints. Most theatre companies in Kerala produced passion plays and gospel enactments.
After Valia Koyil Thampuran's translation of Kalidasa's Sakuntala (1882), drama began to get the proper attention in the theatre companies of Kerala. With the rise of Communism, the theatre companies in Kerala became popular as the medium for expression of the revolutionary zeal of the emerging political culture.
Theatre Companies in Kerala
With Thoppil Bhasi, N. N. Pillai, and K. T. Muhammad, touring of the theatre companies in Kerala became a major cultural factor in Kerala, but in the late 60s, the artistic theatre subsided with the rise of the popular, commercialized theatre, performed by groups like Alleppey Theatres and Kalanilayam and by dozens of smaller professional and amateur theatre companies in Kerala. Some important names related to the theatre companies in Kerala include Ponkunnam Varkey, C. N. Srikantan Nair, Kainikkara Kumara Pillai, Thikodeyan, T. N. Gopinathan Nair, K. T. Muhammad, P. R. Chandran, and C. L. Jose.
Some of the popular Theatre Companies in Kerala are as follows:
Lokadharmi: Lokadharmi thoughts the materialization of a Village Theatre culture with colossal energy entrenched in Indian culture and tradition, at the same time depicting modern Indian realities. Lokadharmi has a grouping of talented and trained artists in its repertory with wealthy performing experience. They comprise folk performers, dancers, artists, musicians, creative designers, and theatre trainers.
Thiraseela.com: It is the first online portal which will extort each and every arts and performers from the desert of darkness to the greenish world of light. It is the first and elite online media for performing arts "Thiraseela.com" to all which is located in Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala.
Kerala People's Arts Club (KPAC): It is a pioneer in performing arts and is the oldest theatre organization in Kerala which was established in 1950. Its plays have had a considerable role in entertainment and education; and it stimulated the covered up sections to join for a fair and just society.