The show goes on…
Feature Articles

The show goes on…

March 22, 2024

For 30 years, city’s GPIER troupe has been moulding budding artistes, directors, technicians & catering to theatre buffs

By S.N. Venkatnag Sobers

For any organisation, 30 years is a significant milestone. A theatre group completing three decades is a proof of its popularity among the theatre buffs. One such amateur theatre group that has become one of the favourites among the theatre-goers is

GPIER (Gesture, Posture, Imagination, Expression, Rhythm) which was started in the year 1994 with coming together of liked-minded friends. The theatre group that began with a small set of enthusiasts has successfully completed three decades training thousands of students.

GPIER, the brainchild of the former Rangayana Senior Artiste Mime Ramesh, has witnessed actors such as ‘Daali’ Dhananjay, Rishi, Vishala Ramachandra Mahale, Nagabhushan, Poornachandra, Ranjan Shetty, Sudhir, Sushma, Avinash Shatavardhan & Mahadev Prasad, Film Director N.S. Islahuddin, Vasu Dixit among others passing out from group, who have set their footprints in the Kannada Film, Television and Music industry. Not only actors, the theatre group has also created technicians, who have been able to make a mark for themselves in theatre and film industry.

Among the famous plays that the group has staged over the past decades includes Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ & ‘King Lear’, Girish Karnad’s ‘Nagamandala’, ‘Shavada Mane’, Euripides’s ‘Medea’, ‘Thank You Mr. Glad’, ‘Badige Mane’, ‘Ondu Thopinalli’, ‘Dhoota Vakya’,  ‘Manteswamy Kathaprasanga’, ‘Nirakarane’, ‘Samsaradalli Sanidapa’ among many.

Apart from conducting theatre workshops, GPIER took another leap by introducing mime to the students and Mysureans.

Several shows have been held at Kalamandira which were much appreciated by the audience.

Through these workshops, GPIER students also visited various schools and colleges to teach children the art of mime.

The theatre group also laid a platform for young directors to showcase their talent by organising ‘Greeshma Rangotsava,’ a special theatre festival, apart from the regular festivals.

The 30 years celebrations will feature a five-day National Theatre Festival at Kirurangamandira (Mini Theatre) in Kalamandira premises on Hunsur Road in city from Mar. 27 to Mar. 31.

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The event will be inaugurated by Dr. M. Mohan Alva, Chairman, Alva’s Education Foundation, Moodbidri, on Mar. 27 at 6 pm. Senior theatre director Prof. H.S. Umesh will preside. Danseuse Dr. Vasundara Doraswamy and Actor Arun Sagar will be the chief guests. Padma Shri  Somanna will be felicitated during the inaugural.

GPIER has also invited theatre groups and artistes from across the country who will be staging plays, folk performances among others on the occasion.

The Master who brought many to limelight…

Mime Ramesh, fondly called as ‘Mime Sir’ among his students and ‘Mima’ among his friends, was a senior artiste at Rangayana at the time when he started GPIER amateur theatre group to provide opportunities for youngsters. During 1994 and following years, Kalamandira premises and rehearsal sheds were epicentres of activities.

Hailing from Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district, Mime Ramesh has dedicated about 50 years of life to theatre. Having travelled across the world, he ensured to adapt different theatre cultures in his plays. He has also been honoured with various awards for his service to theatre. Post retirement, Mime Ramesh continues to train youngsters at Kalamandira through GPIER.

“I am very happy that the theatre group which started as a small group has thousands of students under its name. GPIER was started with an idea of providing opportunities to students in their endeavours to become actors and technicians. It is also important that youngsters are enlightened on social issues for which theatre is one of the prominent mediums. The 30 years celebration is also an occasion to see all my students coming together, said Mime Ramesh, Director, GPIER Theatre Group.

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Thus spake the alumni…

M.V. Shubha Urs – Founder-Member, GPIER

It was a small group that initiated the process of starting a theatre troupe. We had brainstorming sessions with Mime Ramesh Sir before the launch of GPIER. It was not a cakewalk for us as it was difficult to understand the pulse of the audience. I also remember going along with my friends to each and every shop on D.D. Urs Road and other commercial areas to collect sponsorship for the plays. Winning the best actress prize for my role in the play ‘Shavada Mane’ in Mumbai is one among the fond memories of GPIER.

Rajesh Talkad – Actor & Lighting Designer

It was during 1995 that I got introduced to GPIER through one of my friends Shubha. After a month-long workshop, I was part of ‘Decibel Zero,’ a two-and-a-half hours mime show, which was the first of its kind then. Later, I turned a technician by becoming a lighting designer for the team which brought me recognition as I was rewarded with the ‘CGK Award’ by the Karnataka Nataka Academy in 2006.

Nagabhushan – Actor

GPIER taught us to live and work with a team. Apart from enhancing our acting skills, the group also opened the doors to Kannada literary world.

N.S. Islahuddin – Film Director

GPIER Theatre Group, under the guidance of Mime Ramesh, has significantly shaped the artistic journey of many renowned artistes. Even after 30 long years, it still continues to be a cradle of creativity and talent in the performing arts community.

Rishi – Actor

GPIER has been instrumental in shaping my career and instilling confidence to become an actor. I still remember the first day of meeting Mime Sir in Kalamandira. He gave me a character in the play ‘Julius Caesar,’ which kick-started my journey as an actor.

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