Dubai 22, 2014: Noted dramatist Prof. will be honoured with “Dhwani Sriranga” International Kannada theatre award for the year 2013-14 on the occasion of staging of Jayant Kaikini’s Kannada Play” Iti ninna Amrutha” on 26.09.2014 at 6.30 P.M. at Nashwan Hall, Al Nasar Liesureland, Dubai. The play will be directed by Prkash Rao Payyar.
H.S. Shivaprakash (Hulkuntemath Shivamurthy Sastri Shivaprakash, born 1954) is a leading poet and playwright writing in Kannada. He is professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He heads the Cultural Centre at Berlin, known as the Tagore Centre, as Director run by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). He has seven anthologies of poems, twelve plays, and several other books to his credit. His works have been widely translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. His plays have been performed in Kannada, Hindi, Manipuri, Rabha, Assamese, Bodo, Tamil and Malayalam. Shivaprakash is also a well-known authority on vachana literature, Bhakti movements of India, and Sufi and other mystic traditions.
Shivaprakash published his first play Mahachaitra in 1986. The stage-adaptation of the play by C.G.Krishnaswamy for the troop Samudaya became a major hit. The play was based on the life and times of the 12th century Veerashaiva saint Basavanna and narrated the struggles of the artisan saints of the city of Kalyana (now Basavakalyan) through a Marxist analytic. The play received rave reviews and was acknowledged as a landmark in Kannada literature. Mahachaitra is recognized as one among the three greatest plays out of the 25-odd plays on Basavanna written in Kannada, the other two being P. Lankesh’s Sankranti and Girish Karnad’s Taledanda.
Shivaprakash won the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award for this play. His other plays include Sultan Tipu, Shakespeare Swapnanauke, Manteswamy Kathaprasanga, Madari Madayya, Madurekanda, Madhavi, Matrika, Makarachandra, Sati, Cassandra and Maduvehennu. He has also translated Shakespeare’s King Lear and adapted Federico García Lorca’s The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife into Kannada under the title Mallammana Mane Hotlu and Shakespeare’s Macbeth under the name Maranayakana Drishtanta. Manteswamy Kathaprasanga, a play about a 16th-century Dalit saint was made into a successful stage adaptation by director Suresh Anagalli and produced over 300 shows. It kindled interest in this obscure saint and the life of Manteswamy has since been a major area of research in Kannada academia.
Most of Shivaprakash’s plays are inspired by Marxism and Shaiva mysticism, particularly Veerashaivism and Kashmir Shavism. The plays also employ motifs from Sufism and other forms of mysticism like Mahayana and Zen Buddhism. Structurally, the plays are inspired by Japanese Noh theatre and Brecht’s epic theatre.