Karanth fellowship for Raghunandana

First recipient is well-known poet, playwright and director based in Bengaluru

Ninasam Trust, which runs the well-known Ninasam theatre institute in Heggodu, has instituted a fellowship in memory of theatre icon B V Karanth.

S Raghunandana, poet, playwright, and stage director, is the first to receive the fellowship. He has had a long association with Ninasam and theatre legend Karanth.

Raghunandana, who receives Rs 1 lakh, will spend 30 days at Heggodu any time between December and March 2020 and work on Nataka Kriti, a book explaining what constitutes a play. “It will be similar to what Routledge has brought out in English on literary terms,” he told Metrolife.

Known across India for his intense theatre productions, Raghunandana had recently turned down a Sangeet Natak Akademi award.  The BV Karanth Theatre Complex in Heggodu houses a library with 26,000 books on theatre and culture. It has 1,000-plus hours of audio-video material, catalogued and classified. It is open to students, faculty, and research scholars, according to the trust.

The idea of the fellowship is to put the facility to its fullest use. The fellowship, residential in nature, will be extended to eminent artistes and scholars from Karnataka and elsewhere. The amount ranges from Rs. 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh and the stay at Heggodu can stretch from one week to a month, the trust says.

‘Fellowship means a lot to me for two reasons’

In Raghunandana’s words: “It is in the name of B V Karanth, who was my teacher, and director National School of Drama in 1978 - 81 (and ‘82) when I studied there. Later, when Rangayana began working in Mysuru in 1989, I was his colleague for six years. He was the artistic director, and I was one of the founding faculty and resident directors. I humbly say that it is an honor to be the first recipient of the fellowship. The fellowship is being awarded by Ninasam Prathishthana, and its
sister organisations, with which I have had a very close and affectionate, if critical, relationship for 40 years. It is been given me by my peers. I am truly touched.”

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