Theatre maestro Ebrahim Alkazi passes away

Considered the father of modern Indian theatre, Ebrahim Alkazi was associated with training some of the best-known talents in the country, including Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.

author_img H Waghmare Published :  04th August 2020 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  04th August 2020 12:00 AM

Ebrahim Alkazi, the first Director of National School of Drama (NSD) breathed his last in the capital on Tuesday.

Considered the father of modern Indian theatre, Ebrahim Alkazi, the first Director of National School of Drama (NSD), breathed his last in the capital on Tuesday. He was 94.

A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan (2010), Padma Bhushan (1991) and Padma Shri (1966) honours, he was known to be a strict disciplinarian who provided a blueprint for theatre training during his years as the Director of NSD (1962-1977). He was associated with training some of the best-known talents in the country, including Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Uttara Baokar and Rohini Hattangadi, besides a host of major theatre directors in the country.

Alkazi was also an art connoisseur, collector and gallery owner - he founded Art Heritage Gallery in New Delhi.

Personal life

He was married to Roshan Alkazi, who designed costumes for his plays. His two children are also theatre artists. Amal Allana, is a theatre director and former Chairperson of National School of Drama while Feisal Alkazi too is a theatre director.

Remembering the father of modern Indian theatre

An alumnus of Royal Academy of Dramatics Art (RADA), London, he had staged more than 50 plays during his distinguished career and won the BBC Broadcasting Award in 1950. Some of the major plays directed by him include Tuglaq (Girish Karnad), Ashadh Ka Ek Din (Mohan Rakesh), Dharamvir Bharti's Andha Yug besides several Greek tragedies and Shakespeare's works.

Calling him an 'extraordinary man', veteran theatre actor Naseeruddin Shah wrote on Facebook: "The last time I met this extraordinary man. Ebrahim Alkazi Sahab. RIP."

Naseeruddin Shah with Ebrahim Alkazi (Photo shared by Shah on Facebook)

"Shri Ebrahim Alkazi will be remembered for his efforts to make theatre more popular and accessible across India. His contributions to the world of art and culture are noteworthy too. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace," wrote Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
 

"A family of nine brothers & sisters. Eight migrated to Pakistan in 1947, just one remained. Yet that one had the most profound impact on Indian theatre. Naseer, Om Puri, Rohini Hattangadi all learnt from the master. RIP  Ebrahim Alkazi, Indian theatre just became much poorer," wrote Joy Bhattacharjya. 
 

(with inputs from IANS)

 

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