(Last Updated on : 14-04-2012)
Rajarajeswari Nataka Mandali of Ramayya Adapa (started in1915) came to be known for its attractive shows of plays like Prabhavatl Darbar, Sadarame and Yuvati Vijaya, plays borrowed from the visiting Gubbi Company
and Shirahatti Venkoba Rao's troupe. Varadachar also visited the coastal towns frequently. The coastal home of Yaksagana does not seem to have made any tangible contribution towards building its own professional stage. Obviously, the coastal village was satisfied with its Yaksagana
and the city, with the performances of visiting troupes from North Karnataka and Mysore
. Some efforts were however made by enthusiastic artists like Narayana Setti and Ramayya Adapa who started their own Professional troupes.
The success of Rajarajeswari Nataka Mandali tempted every professional troupe of Indian state of Karnataka to visit the coastal tract; and the coastal towns relished the performances of Garud Sadashivarao
, Mohamad Peer
and K. Hirannayya
who visited it frequently. The only exception, to the otherwise sorry and short lived troupes of the coast, was Sri Amba Prasadita. Karnataka Nataka Mandali (1920-1940) owned by M. Ranganatha Bhatta. This troupe frequently toured the length and breath of Karnataka. By the year 1930, the Rajarajeswari Nataka Mandali had become a competent rival even to the well established troupes in other parts of Karnataka
. It came to be known for its imposing performances of mythological plays like Dhruva and Harischandra
, the historical ones like Ajanmakumari and Sinhagada and popular social plays like Rayara Sose and Nisa Mahime. Reviews of the time plays highly of the troupes for its natural settings, strikingly appropriate costumes and also the magnificent acting of Rangnatha Bhatta. Sri Bhatta, with his imposing personality and thunderous voice played leading roles with great understanding. The masterpiece of the troupe was Rayara Sose (Kannada version of the Marathi play - Pantachi Sun) in which Ranganatha Bhatta played the doctor with mastery in the portrayal of mixed emotions. The Kannada land respected his talent and honoured him with rewards and titles like Abhinaya Bhusana and Natyakala Visarada. Disbanding his troupe early in the forties, Ranganatha Bhatta sought a settled life in Mangalore
. Many other professional troupes came up in the coast, the prominent of which were Manamohan Nataka Mandali, Panchalingeshwara Natak Mandali and Raiarajeshwari Natak Mandali but they staged plays only to entertain the coastal towns of Karnataka.