G. Sankara Pillai

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G. Sankara Pillai
Born (1930-06-22)June 22, 1930
Chirayinkeezhu, Kerala, India
Died January 1, 1989(1989-01-01) (aged 58)
Occupation Playwright, dramatist
Nationality Indian
Notable awards Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award

G. Sankara Pillai (22 June 1930 - 1 January 1989)[1] was an Indian playwright, critic, and director who explored total theatre in a wide range of forms.[2] He was one of the most versatile and towering personalities of Indian literature and the theatre scene. His symbolist works were instrumental in defining modern Malayalam theatre. The Nataka Kalari movement started by Sankara Pillai in 1967 has created some of the best theatre practitioners in the country. He won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1964 for the work Rail Palangal. He also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Theatre-Playwriting in 1979.[3]


        Prof. G. Sankara Pillai was born on 22 June 1930 at Nalthattuvila in Chirayinkeezhu taluk of Thiruvananthapuram district as the son of Ottaveettil V. Gopala Pillai and Muttaykkal Kamalakshi Amma. After completing his schooling from Kollam, Chirayinkeezhu, Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram, he passed his honours degree in Malayalam literature with first rank in 1952. He worked as a Lecturer in a college in Pathanamthitta for two years before joining in Kerala Sahitya Akademi for a research in Kerala's folk music. He worked in Madurai Gandhigram Institute (from 1957) and Lexicon office (from 1961) and Devaswom Board College, Sasthamcotta (since its inception in 1964).

While holding the post of Head of the Department of Malayalam in D.B.College Sasthamcotta, he initiated the Nataka Kalari Movement in 1967 by organising first of its kind. The Professor was also instrumental in the setting up of School of Drama at Thrissur under the University of Calicut, of which he was the founder director. He also held the post of Director at the School of Letters of Mahatma Gandhi University and was an Executive Member of National School of Drama.

Prof. Pillai's first work was a one-act play titled Snehadoothan (Messenger of Love) which was published in 1953. His other major works include Pushpakireedam (Flory Crown), Nizhal (The Shadow), Gurudakshina (Offering to the Master), Nidhiyum Neethiyum (Treasure and Justice), Maddalangal (Drums), Rail Palangal (Rail Tracks), Ponnumkudam (Golden Pot), Chithra Salabhangal (Butterflies), Thamara (Lotus) and Orukoottam Urumbukal (A Group of Ants).


  1. ^ "G. Sankara Pillai Biography". Kerala Sahitya Akademi. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Pillai G., Shankara (1930—1989)". The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance. Oxford Reference. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Awards)". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 10 July 2013.

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