Ebrahim Alkazi, Indian theatre legend and art connoisseur, passes away at 94

Ebrahim Alkazi was the longest-serving director of the National School of Drama. He is credited with revolutionising Indian theatre by combining native folk traditions and international acting techniques.

FP Staff August 04, 2020 17:50:16 IST
Ebrahim Alkazi, Indian theatre legend and art connoisseur, passes away at 94

Indian theatre legend Ebrahim Alkazi died on the afternoon of 4 August after suffering a heart attack, his son said to the Press Trust of India. He was 94.

Alkazi was the longest-serving director of the National School of Drama and founded its Repertory Company, which took landmark plays in regional languages across India. He directed over 50 plays, including famous productions such as Girish Karnad's Tughlaq, Mohan Rakesh's Ashadh Ka Ek Din, Dharamvir Bharati's Andha Yug and numerous Shakespearean and Greek plays. He mentored generations of actors, including Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.

Parallel to the Independence movement and the birth of Indian modernism in theatre, Alkazi revolutionised Indian theatre by combining native folk traditions and international acting techniques. He was also credited with the introduction of revolutionary ideas in theatre through scenic design and lighting. It is said Alkazi evolved new training methodologies for student actors, directors and stage designers and spoke of new ethics and philosophy in theatre.

He was conferred with honours such as the Kalidas Award, the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan for his immense contributions to the Indian stage.

Alkazi was also a painter, art connoisseur, collector and gallery owner, and founded the Art Heritage Gallery in Mumbai with his wife, Roshan Alkazi in 1977. They have since presented over 350 exhibitions, including the works of distinguished artists such as Somnath Hore, Tyeb Mehta, F N souza, M F Husain, and others.

Read on Firstpost: New exhibition of Ebrahim Alkazi's paintings, archival material explores thespian-poet's multifaceted persona

— With inputs from Press Trust of India

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