Kaaviya Thalaivan, a critically acclaimed film that was released last year, shed some light onto the ancient art form of theatre in Tamil Nadu. Although the television and the Internet have begun replacing theatre as a staple in our entertainment diet, stage drama is still being kept alive by those faithful to the art. This is probably because stage plays continue to mesmerize and captivate its audience with the real life performances that unfold in front of their eyes. The movie Kaaviya Thalaivan, portrayed the lives of drama artistes in the early 20th century. It showed how they lived, how their lives were influenced by the art and how ancient plays were staged ingeniously, with minimal use of technology without compromising on showmanship.
This idea has been explored in an article in a leading Indian newspaper, The Hindu as well, which talks about Tamil theatre in particular. This article looks at the content of plays in the past; the companies that were famous, as well as the clever stage inventions and techniques that were used for special effects back then! The article makes for an interesting read for anyone who is interested in understanding the Tamil theatre industry a little more. It also looks at the necessary prerequisites to become a stage actor- from the love for acting, to the dedication required to hone your language skills (so as to depict the various, complex and epic characters that are usually portrayed in Tamil theatre). The article also clearly states that participating in theatre develops your language skills, as it quotes an example of a Kannadiga woman who learnt to read and speak Tamil within four years of moving to Chennai!