Vishnudas Bhave
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Vishnudas Amrit Bhave (1823-1901) is considered to be the pioneer of Modern Marathi Drama. His first play 'Seetaswayamwarakhyan' was performed at Sangali in 1843, under the patronage of the prince of Sangli, Chintamanrao Patwardhan.

It is noted that Patwardhan saw a Kannada "Bhagvata" play around 1842, and asked Bhave to prepare a Marathi play on those lines.

Barely in his twenties, Bhave wrote 'Seetaswayamwarakhyan',composed its music,directed the play,made costumes and other props, and ofcourse acted in it along with a group of young men at Sangli.

This play was thus partially derived from the Kannada'Bhagvata' but made more refined by minimising the 'vulgar' and 'popular' elements. Historian critics have also traced the influence of other folk forms like the lalit and dashavatar on Bhave's play.

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late. Dattatray Atmaram Phatak (Dadasaheb)

In 1894, late Dattatray Atmaram Phatak (Dadasaheb), along with a few of his interested fellow-students, set up a drama group in their high school, which was then held in a building named Vishrambag Wada. They named the group “Students Social Club”. Using English names for such groups was then perhaps in vogue. Then Vishrambag Wada housed a Government High School which is towards the north of Shanicha Par and the building is used as a police station and a couple of Govt. offices these days.

Students' Social Club soon hired a big room in a ‘wada' owned by one Mr. Bhusari. The room was near the Government School in Budhwar Peth, and the room was hired for drama rehearsals. In 1985, in the evening of Dassehara festival, the students put up performances of two short plays, 1 st Act of “HAMLET” and “KRISHNA KRUTYA PRADEEP', an act written by a young enthusiastic member-Late Gopalrao Wad's play was based on a mythological story. The Club had begun its activities with great enthusiasm, with the help of home-made costumes, settings, curtains and borrowed kerosene lamps. The traditional “sutradhar and nati” (comperer and main actress) scene characterized the performance. The roles of ‘sutradhar and nati were respectively performed by late Ramchandra Narayan Parad and Dadasaheb Phatak.... more

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