(Last Updated on : 12/04/2012)
Artists in amateur theatre stage are no more pursued by the stigma that dogged the professional actor for centuries as Rusheelava, the social immoral. The educated actor of the amateur Kannada theatre
stage is invariably a man of some social standing with an obligation to preserve the morality, good taste and honour of the stage. Even the professional actor is now looked upon with some consideration, though what T. Raghavachari said two decades ago about the dangers of taking to the stage as a profession, still remains true in some degree. Educated women have come forward to make the amateur stage look natural. Girls belonging to respectable families have come to appear on the stage along with men: this happy practice seems to have been begun by the Amateur Dramatic Association
. The amateur theatre has its great advantage in its playwright who is also a potential actor invariably.
Popular Actors in Amateur Theatre
Luckily for Kannada amateur stage, its pioneer playwrights including T.P. Kailasam
, Sriranga and Karanth being actors of consummate skill, were able to lay down a good tradition in playacting and production. Leading amateur troupes enjoyed the services of artists who could compare favourably in talent with the leading professional artists of any region. T. Ragbavachari was a flourishing lawyer, and Devadu Narasimha Shastri a noted writer, but both, with their bountiful talent gave a status and career to the Amateur Dramatic Association of Bangalore. D. Laxmanayya, an advocate, and C. Anandrao a Palace official came to be known for their rich histrionic talent in the performances of the Literary Dramatic Association of Mysore. Dr. N. S. Narayana Shastri, Dr. A. M. Natesh, A. C. Narsimha Murthy, T. M. Ameer, V. K. Shrinivasan, G. B. Jayarao, B. Krishnamurthy, Sampath, Gururaja Rao and other senior members of the Old Boys Associations of the Maharaja?s College of Mysore compared well with the best of the professional artists of their time. N. Kasturi, C. K. Nagaraja Rao, Chi Sadasiviah of Bengaluru, N. S. Vaman, Vijaya Rajarao and Ranganath of Mysore, S. H. Parvati, Mangalvede and C. S. Bennur of Bagalkot, K. G. Halsigi, G. V. Hiremath and V. M. Inamdar of Dharwar, Joladarashi Doddan Gowda and Y. M. Chandrayya of Bellary are but a few names in a galaxy of brilliant artists who brought in considerable lustre to the Amateur stage of the Kannada country. It is true, the actor has forfeited his once lofty position in favour of the playwright in the Amateur theatre reversing the position then prevailing in the professional theatre, but even so, he is to play a vital role for the success of the stage. It is after all the actor who ultimately brings home the full import of a play be it the "sentimental stuff" of the professional stage or the "Intellectual play of Ideas" of the amateur stage and it may be said in this regard, that Karnataka seems to be fortunate in its artists