'Power'packed performance by an actor par excellence

Even as the medium of theatre is under the threat by television and films, several artistes are determined to preserve the theatre and the oral tradition of folklore in rural areas.

P V Subrahmanya, popularly known as Pavisu, is one such unsung hero. A native of Madhugiri, he was born to Narasamma and Shanubhog Vishwanath, in a family far removed from the lap of luxury. Because there was not enough money for school fees, Subrahmanya ceased his studies while he was in eighth standard. To make a living, he began working as a coolie. Later, he worked as a waiter in a hotel, but studying on the side, managed to complete his SSLC.

His hard work paid ensured that he found work in the Mysore Electricity Board in 1975.

Although he was making an adequate living, the acting bug which had struck early when he was still in school ensured that the love and lure of theatre never strayed far from his mind.

Subrahmanya explained that his Science teacher, Lingappa, encouraged him to take part in dramas and skits. His skills in mono-acting was appreciated by one and all. Lingappa gave Surbrahmanya an opportunity to perform the role of Uttar, in the drama Raktharathri, conceived by noted theatreperson Kandagalla Hanumantharaya.
“This the was first break I had,” he said.  From then onwards, there has been no stopping for him.

Enhancing interest

His love for theatre led him to form the Kannada Yuvaka Sangha, to enhance his interests in theatre. The Sangha was converted into the Kalaranga in 1980, which was instrumental in conducting various theatre festivals and various drama competitions, both at the district and the State-levels.

The association bags the credit of presenting some of the best of historical, mythological and social dramas, including Kurukshethra, Bhoo-Kailasa, Shri Krishna Garudi, Sathya Harishchancra, etc, during those days.

Subrahmanya has not limited his talent solely to stage, but has also participated in more than 1,500 street plays, while working his regular day job at the Bangalore and Hubli power supplying companies.

He has also toured several villages of Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Davangere, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts. He has excelled himself in the roles of Shakuni and Ravana and has left the audience spellbound with his performances.


His body language, fine-tuned gestures, movement of eyes, facial expressions, the act of scratching his beard, dialogue delivery, are his noted performance trademarks.
He has been honoured with the State Nataka Academi award for 2005 and has also been honoured by the Rajyotsava award by the taluk administration. Subrahmanya has also been feted by noted theatre personality Master K Hirannayya, at a programme held here. As a playwright, he has authored books on Maanadhana, Suyodhana and Ekapathrabhinaya, in 2012. He can be contacted on: 94486 59803.

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