Mysuru Puppet Theatre from September 20th.

Puppet theater, once the mainstay of entertainment at village fairs across the country will once again
weave its mystic spell on visitors at 5pm on September 20″ to October 13th at
he Bombe Mane’ expo, Pratima Gallery on the Nazarbad Main road in Mysuru, according to
a press release from Rangoli Srikanth, Director of Mysore Puppet Theatre (MPT),

According to Srikantha, his troupe of puppeteers will be presenting three episodes from the
Bhagavata – Sri Krishna Parijatha, Sri Krishna Tulabhara and Narakasura Vadha.

Like many of the traditional arts and crafts across the country, traditional rod puppetry is
being revived by Rangoli Srikantha under the aegis of Mandalam Sriranga Putthali.

Srikantha who has a degree in arts (BFA), has made a name for himself as a ‘rangoli artist
both in Mysore and Bangalore and also among the PIOs in the US of A

Srikantha’s great-grandfather, Narasinga Rao was considered to be a master in this form of
puppetry in which the puppet is manipulated with three strings and two iron rods. The
puppeteer then becomes an extension of the puppet itself. A perfect sense of timing is
necessary along with the ability to coordinate with the second puppeteer.

The renowned Narasinga Rao had performed several times before the Maharaja Nalwadi
Krishnaraja Wadiyar. His grandson M.R. Ranganatha Roa followed in his grand father’s
footsteps. Such was Ranganath Rao’s renown that the Czarina of culture, the Late Kamala
Devi Chattopadhyaya visited his hometown of Magadi to admire the collection of wooden
puppets and to urge Ranganatha Rao to train others in this art form. Keeping his promise to
Kamala Devi, Ranganatha Rao has trained many youngsters to become professional
puppeteers who have established some well-known puppet theatres in and around
Bangalore. Latest disciple is grand nephew, Srikantha who has successfully established
Mysore Puppet Theatre.

Like any art form, puppet theatre can be seen as a manifestation and a reflection of the
historical and cultural situation of a society at any given time. It is this heritage that Srikantha
vows to keep alive

Going beyond the obvious, Srikantha’s desire is to channelize the potential of puppetry as a
medium for communication. Many institutions and individuals in India and abroad are
involving students and teachers in the use of puppetry for communicating educational
concepts. Mysuru Puppet Theatre is also an attempt to create themes that can be used in
educational programs

Puppetry also helps in psychological therapies say psychiatrists.It is in these areas that
Mysore Puppet Theatre wishes to involve itself in similar rehabilitation programs in various
schools. Of course, as Srikantha says, there is also the sheer fun part of watching a puppet
show and taking part in one