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Home > Discover Pune > Art and Culture > Theatres
 
Theatres
Gandharva

It all began in the 1880s, when Sangeet Seeta Swayamwar, the first Marathi play of modern times (written and first staged by the renowned writer Vishnudas Bhave in Sangli in 1843) was staged in Pune. In the 20th century, Annasaheb Kirloskar's troupe took musicals to glory. The magic of their music mesmerised the masses.

Like everything else, theatre too had to ride the seesaw of fortunes. The musicals ran into competition from cinema in the '30s. The amateur theatre founded by academics had taken roots in the city in the form of Bharat Natyasanshodhan Mandir and Maharashtriya Kalopasak Mandali. These associations did everything to lay the foundations of a lasting theatre culture - festivals, competitions, workshops et al.

Dr Shreeram Lagoo, Nana Patekar, Dr Mohan Agashe, Mohan Gokhale, Smita Patil, Rohini Hattangady, Sonali Kulkarni all took faltering steps towards fame and fortune on the Pune stage. They followed in the hallowed footsteps of the legendary Balgandharva, who along with Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar etched a golden chapter of opera-styled Marathi musicals in the 1920s and 1930s.

In 1955, the Progressive Dramatic Association was formed by thespians like Keshavrao Date and Acharya Atre. It was in this association that talents like Shreeram Lagoo and writers like Venkatesh Madgulkar were ushered in. With satirical plays like Sashtang Namaskar, the orator and academician Acharya Atre breathed new life into professional theatre.
Purushottam Karandak

Purushottam Karandak is an annual inter-collegiate competition which is organised in the month of August by the Maharashtriya Kalopasak Mandali. It began way back in the 1960s, thereby setting standards for amateur theatre. And from Purushottam Karandak emerged actors like Satish Alekar and Dr Jabbar Patel, who acquired international acclaim for their brilliant performances in the famous 'Ghashiram Kotwal', a play written by writer Vijay Tendulkar. Not to forget the famous heart-throb Sonali Kulkarni who made her first appearance as an actress here. Almost all colleges participate in the event. Participants start practising their parts from the month of June in order to do their best in representing their college in the competition and striving to take the 'Karandak' or cup home. There is a lot of hustle-bustle seen on the college campus venue during this period.


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Gandharva
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