Telugu drama (also known as Rangasthalam or Telugu Natakam or Telugu Natakotsavam) is an Indian theatre in the Telugu language, based in the states of Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.[1] Gurazada Apparao wrote the play, Kanyasulkam in 1892, which is often considered the greatest play in the Telugu language.C. Pullaiah is cited as the father of Telugu drama movement.

Vemuri Gaggaiah was an important member of the Mylavarama Bala Bharathi Nataka Samajam in Mylavaram, Krishna district during 1913-28. Through “Mylavaram Theatre”. Gaggaiah became a household name for mythological roles. He won recognition in drama as Yama, god of death, in Sati Savitri, as the demon Hiranyakasipu in Bhakta Prahlada. Some other prominent roles were as the eponymous Mymvana, and as Jalandhara in Sati Tulasi. Tirupati Venkata Kavulu have dramatised several of the Hindu epics into dramas and plays consisting of singable verses set to perfect meter. Several of their plays, especially pandavodyogavijayalu have been widely known among many drama clubs and audiences across Andhra Pradesh. The Nandi Awards for Natakotsavam are given every year by the government for achievements in Telugu theatre, and drama.

Associated figures

Kalyanam Raghuramaiah, A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Padmashri, He was known for the roles of Krishna or Dushyantha, Bhavanisankar, Narada etc. He performed those roles for about 60 years. He indulged in elaborate raga alapana, based on different ragas while rendering padyams. One of the finest method actors, He had the ability to sing padyams and songs through whistle, by putting his finger in mouth and producing the whistle or flute sound (meaning Eela in Telugu). He has acted in various dramas and gave more than 20,000 stage performances. He was called the “Nightingale of the Stage” by Rabindranath Tagore Balijepalli Lakshmikantam was a dramatist remembered for the masterpiece Harischandra (Satya Harischandriyamu) written in 1924.