Shankar's DreamShankar Nag (1955-1990) was one of the most extraordinarily talented and energetic theatre practitioners of our generation. He began his theatre work at the age of sixteen in Bombay and his commitment to theatre continued unabated despite his enormous success as a screen actor. Shankar won an acting award for his debut performance in Girish Karnad’s ‘Ondaanondu Kaaladalli’ at the International Film Festival in New Delhi in 1979, and later himself directed the television serial Malgudi Days.This serial remains in syndication even today and continues to appear not only on Indian TV channels and private screens but also internationally.
Shankar’s heart always belonged to theatre and he dreamed of creating a vibrant, affordable, inclusive space for theatre and theatre lovers in his adopted city of Bangalore. For him, theatre had no boundaries; it simply swept people off their feet and transported them to lands of infinite possibility and potential. Confronting the challenges from film and television and resisting the lure of commercial stages, the spirit of theatre had to be kept alive – it needed a home where it could grow under the care of experienced practitioners and where it could nurture younger people and guide them into a loving and supportive community, a community that they would revitalize with their energy and new ideas.
Shankar’s tragic death made it all the more imperative that his dream stay alive. The Sanket Trust, with the help of friends and lovers of theatre from all over the country, made sure that the dream would live and inspire others to join the celebration of Shankar’s life.
The dream Shankar left us is a dream that we could embrace and share and fulfil in our own ways, a dream that we could enrich with our own energies and commitment.
Theatre Alive! At Ranga Shankara is about Shankar’s Dream and our part in it.