Ranga Shankara reaches a milestone

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12BG_PG2_RANGA_SHA_2150496fBANGALORE, October 13:  Ranga Shankara, a state-of-the-art theatre facility in the city, turns 10 on October 28. This unique facility is the project of Arundhati Rao, who wanted to realise the long-cherished dream of her husband and talented theatre and film personality, Shankar Nag. To mark Shankar Nag’s 60th birth anniversary and 10 years of the theatre, Ranga Shankara is putting together a festival of plays from October 28 to November 9. The festival was formally launched on Sunday by Kannada’s foremost lexicographer G. Venkatasubbaiah.

Artist S.G. Vasudev unveiled works of art dedicated to Shankar Nag and Ranga Shankara in the presence of playwright Girish Karnad, writer Chandrashekar Kambar, actor and tele-serial director T.N. Seetharam, film director T.S. Nagabharana, Rajya Sabha member B. Jayashree and Minister of State for Kannada and Culture Umashree.

Except Ravindra Kalakshetra and Chowdiah Memorial Hall, which are open to all kinds of performances, there was no dedicated space for amateur theatre in Bangalore like the one that was being provided by Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai. Shankar Nag had the dream of creating such a dedicated space for theatre. Finally, Sanket Trust, founded by Ms. Rao and her friends, realised the actor’s dream through Ranga Shankara.

The three-storey facility, which opened on October 28, 2004, is named after theatre (ranga) and the god of performing arts, Shankara.

4,000 plays staged

In the past decade, Ranga Shankara has become one of the most vibrant cultural spaces in the city. Over 4,000 plays of 30 regional, national and international languages have been staged here. According to Ms. Rao, the trust, of which she is the managing trustee, acquired a civic amenity site in a residential area in south Bangalore in 1994 on a 33-year lease and completed the work on the theatre after 10 years with public contribution.

This 300-seat capacity auditorium has a unique architecture and seating is steeply raked to allow the spectators to have an unobstructed view of the stage. It has a revolving stage and a trapdoor. Ranga Shankara also has an art gallery, a bookshop and a café to make the venue a vibrant cultural hub.

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