Surabhi Dramas started in the year 1885 at Surabhi village, Kadapa District with KEECHAKA VADHA is the first drama. The Surabhi family is having 136 years of history and the founders are Sri Vanarasa Govinda Rao and brother Sri Chinnaramaiah Garu. In olden days there are 60 organizations giving performances entire in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana due to bad financial position all are closed long back. At present only few organizations are giving performances.
SRI VENKATESWARA SURABHI THEATRE is well known as S J VARMA group, Surabhi JAYACHANDRAVARMA is the Director & Secretary of Sri Venkateswara Surabhi theatre, He is the grandson of Padma shri Surabhi Babji garu. Surabhi Jayachandra is a recipient of Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Purskar Awardee from Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. And JL. Narasimha Rao Rangasthala Yuvapuraskaar 2017 from Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, Telangana and many Awards and Honours received by state govt and other organigations.
Surabhi is a traditional family theatre group, with different branches across Telangana & Andhra Pradesh. this group is situated in Serilingampally, Hyderabad, has been doing around 5 to 10 shows every month, all over India, wherever called. this group have done workshops, performed at theatre festivals, done performances which feature the children of Surabhi Theatre. They have improvised with the times, and kept Surabhi theatre tradition alive.
this group is most active group, this group is doing many experiments in the field of theater and also protecting Surabhi Drama tradition.
Sri Venkateswara Surabhi Theatre given performances apart from Telangana participated both in NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL level Theatre Festivals like 20th Bharath Rang Mahothsav by NSD, Jashne bachpan international theatre festival by NSD at New Delhi, Sangeet natak Akademi festival at Gouhati Assam, Science in Theatre Festival by Visweswaraiah Museum & IFA at Bengalore and etc......
Protect Surabhi Theatre tradition
WHAT WE DO
Surabhi is a rare institution of family groups that leads nomadic life by performing dramas in villages. Surabhi has a track record of 135years. Most of the Surabhi plays are the compendiums from the Indian epics and mythiologies Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavatha . There was a time that Surabhi troupes could tremendously survived all over Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
It is famous for its Padya Natakam (The classical Telugu verse play) performances adorned with colorful illusionary backgrounds, sets and trick scenes. The interesting thing about this group is that all artists/technicians of this group are from one family, dedicated their lives to Rangastal (Rangmanch/Stage). Every artist is self-enough to make up themselves. There are no age limitations or retirements for the artists of this family.
The Surabhi theatre is a small world by it self. With in-built democratic principles and administration. The families of artists live on the other side of the theatre structure in small apartments built for them. Women and children have always been integral part of its productions. There is a separate workshop to produce sets and other necessary objects. The artists do moulding, curtain painting, cut-out designs, and other works by themselves. Surabhi takes resource to a lot of gimmicks, recreating old world charm on stage. The audience witness to their delight, Lord Vishnu materializing on the stage to bless a devotee and Narada traversing through the air, rendering 'Narayana Keertana.' Gatotkacha pours fire in stage and Krishna dances on Kaliya, the five headed sanke.
Children, as they watch their elders' performance, learn themselves and they are ready to play the role anytime. Children are played roles in dramas with continuing their education, Almost all artists are technicians too. Women not only play female they role male roles too. It would excite the audience that the audience can watch different age groups of artists in the same play that the babies, children, youth, middle aged and old, are all from one family. There are different roles regarding the drama such as making the stage, curtains, stitching, painting, making of the wigs, ornaments, designing costumes, electrical works, lighting works, etc., All these roles are performed by the family.
The principle of success of the exiting plays is the team work. Audience could see only two artists performing on the stage; but behind the screens, there would be the whole family thats working out to make the instant set on the next scene.