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The Stage

Natakashiromani A.V.Varadacharya, a pioneer of the professional stage was a genius who gathered a group of extremely talented actors and producers magnificent plays which took the people by storm. The professional stage had attained great stature. The puranic characters had thrilled the audience and those songs were on everyones lips. Later the Maharaja company and Chamundeswari company undertook tours and performed all over the state. Later it was Gubbi Veeranna who strove all his life to develop the professional stage and it had reached a high watermark in stature. Also some of Varadachars disciples like Nagendra Rao, Mari Rao, Nagesha Rao, etc, who along with
Mohamed Peer, H.L.N. Simha, Subbiah Naidu Kotturappa, Hiranniah whose enormous talents bestowed the Kannada stage with glory and popularity. In the North Karnatak area the stage was very popular form of entertainment and mostly was running on the Marathi model. Professional companies like Srihutti Company, Garud Sadashiva Rao's company were very popular and there were very many talented singers who were in great demand. We have Master Hiranniah today who has his own string of plays with abundant humor and scintillating dialogue & is providing excellent entertainment. Lately the professional companies have mostly been disbanded and the theater has been taken over by amateur troops influenced by plays or themes of the great dramatists of the west, or new plays based on those masters. Of course these groups came into fashion after Kailasam and Sriranga reoriented our ideas of the theater and drama.

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