G. Krishanan’s ABIMANYA SUNDARI THIRUKALYAM, Director: D. Elumalai

Playwright: G. Krishanan

Director: D. Elumalai

Group: Sri Thanthoni Amman Therukkuthu Nadaga Sabha, Thiruvannamalai

Language: Tamil

Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play

Duryodhana’s son, Lakshmana Kumaran, is eligible to marriage and Sakuni suggests he may be married to the daughter of Dhurgapuri’s Lord  Krishna. Duryodhana agrees and goes to Dhurgapuri Darbar. Entering, Duryodhana asks Lord Krishna to marry his daughter to his son. But Krishna decided to first speak with his wife. Duryodhana agrees. Mangalakshmi, wife of Lord Krishna, listenes to Krishna, but reminds him that he has promised his daughter’s marriage to Arjun’s son. Lord Krishna says that as Arjun has lost almost all his land, we must reconsider the match. They finally decide to marry their daughter to Duryodhan’s son and announcement of the same intent is made. When their daughter, Sundari, hears this, she gets upset, and sends a message to Abhimanyu through Vayu Bhagvan that he should come immediately and marry her. Abhimanyu gets the message and straightaway sets out to stop the wedding.

Director’s Note

This play is dramatized from Mahabharata’s story of Abhimanya Sundari Thirukalyanam. It was performed in our rural villages. The audience would eagerly wait for Sundari’s entry. Whenever we performed this play, the Kattiya Karan (Narrator), makes jokes and adds humour to the whole play.

The Director

At the age of sixteen, after finishing his school, D. Elumalai underwent training with two Koothu teachers, Kishtappa Meshtri and Srinivasa Meshtri. He learnt Adavu and songs from them. Later he joined Purisai Kalaimamani Subramaniya Thambirar Therukoothu group as an actor. There he learnt Adavu from Kannappa Thambiran and Sambanthan in 1987-88. He founded the Sri Thanthoniamman Therukoothu Nadaga Sabha in the year 1997. He gave training to Thalai -K-kol, a modern theatre group in Pondichery and organised the performance of Nadu Koothan there. In 2006-2008, he got trained in Therukoothu at Pondichery University. He also conducted a 10 days’ workshop at National School of Drama’s Bangalore Centre. He is the chief trainer for Therukoothu. He got Kalai Nan Mani award from the Government of Tamil Nadu.

The Playwright

G. Krishnan has been writing for the last 30 years. His plays have been translated in German and French. He teaches Thabasu and Krishnan Doodhu to the village youths. Thakkayagam, Arjunan Thabasu, Lavakusha, Baratham, Sundari thirukalyam are some of his famous plays.

The Group

Sri Thanthoniamman Therukoothu Nadaga Sabha is the leading Tamil folk Theatre group that promotes the traditional folk art form of Therukoothu. It was established in 1985 by a Group of folk theatre enthusiasts who were involved in promoting Therukoothu in the districts of Thiruvannamalai, Kanchipuram, Chennai, Vellore, Dharumapuri, Pondicherry. They have performed in the National Theatre festival (19th BRM at New Delhi) and have also conducted a number of workshops with college students, foreign research scholars and school children.

Cast & Credits

On Stage: Ravichandran, Madhavan, Vijay, A. Ramakrishnan, M. Haridass, Ethiraj, E. Manikandan, Subramanian, Mukundan, Elavarasu, S. Rajesh, Venkatesan,

Harmonium: Seetharaman

Mirudangam: Krishnamoorthy

Mughaveenai: S. Chandiran

Lighting: E. Sukumar

Design & Props: E. Suresh

Translator & Coordinator: M. Manivanna

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