Kavalam Narayana Panicker - the theatre doyen and poet
A tribute to Kavalam Narayana Panicker - a Malayalam playwright and poet, who untouched by the Western influence in Malayalam drama has created his own unique training system influenced by classical Sanskrit drama. Born on 28th April 1928 at Kavalam, a backwater village at Kuttanad in Alappuzha, he has successfully coalesced the classical tradition and folk elements to the contemporary theatre. He was a multi-faceted personality who carved his niche in divergent fields.
His dramas Avanavan Kadamba, Daivathar and Sakshi are considered milestones in the history of contemporary Malayalam theatre. He also had translated Sanskrit plays of classical masters like Kalidasa and Bhasa and brought them onto the stage. Shakunthalalam, Karnabharam and Vikramorvasheeyam were among Sanskrit dramas which he adapted and gave life to on the stage.
He is the founder and director of the theatre troupe, Sopanam, which led to the foundation of Bhashabharati - a Centre for Performing Arts, Training and Research, located in Trivandrum. He died in hospital on 26 June 2016, aged 88.