A book titled Semiotics of Oggu Katha authored by Dr. N J Bhikshu, faculty in the Department of Theatre Arts in the Sarojini School of Arts & Communication, University of Hyderabad (UoH) was launched by Dr. K V Ramanachari, Advisor, Govt of Telangana and Shri Mamidi Hari Krishna- Director, Department of Language and Culture in the presence of Shri Chukka Sattaiah, Sangeet Natak Academy awardee at the Ravindra Bharati recently. There was Oggu Katha performance by Shri Oggu Ravi and his team.
Dr. Bhikshu’s doctorate work on Oggu Katha, a Telangana folk narrative form is the first one ever to be attempted as a Theatrical study. This form of the pastoral community of the state of Telangana attracts a special attention of academic enquiry in both the fields of theatre and performance studies by virtue of its potentialities of its sustenance. The form being performer and audience centric in its ritualistic context becomes a cultural expression of the people of the community. This book details the progression of the performance negotiating various elements of grammar of Theatre transforming as a holistic cultural expression of the community. It explains how this narrative form travels consulting the multiplicit elements of text, context – performer and audience.
Dr. N.J. Bhikshu procures an experience of three and a half decades in Theatre practice. Having started as an amateur actor his pursuit took him towards becoming a professional Actor, Director, Script writer, Music composer, Set designer and an academician. He has a master’s and doctoral degree in theatre arts from UoH. He joined the UoH in 1991 as a faculty and currently is Head, Department of Theatre arts, S.N school of Arts and Communication. He has been felicitated on various occasions by the then Government of Andhra Pradesh and other NGOs literary and cultural organisations in recognition to his contribution for Telugu theatre and his directorial works transcend across the media. A glimpse at his works that garnered him with due recognition such as Oka Voraloo Nalugu Nijaalu (a Telugu stage adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s film “Roshomon”), Devudnichusinavaadu (a stage adaptation of a short story of Tilak), Amaravati Kadhalu, short stories of Satyam Shankaramanchi, reflect the same. As a music composer to many well-known theatre personalities his works include Dharamveera Bharati’s Andha Yugam, a Telugu adaptation (directed by Padmashri Prof. Ram Gopal Bajaj), Bhayam, a Telugu play (directed by Prof. S. Ramanujam), Kagitam Puli (directed by Prof. M.N. Sarma), Bakasura, Gunanidhi, Kodandapani (directed by Prof. D.S.N. Murthy).