Ratnakar Ramkrishna Matkari

Born in 1938 in Mumbai, Shri Ratnakar Ramkrishna Matkari studied economics for his B.A. and then worked for a bank before turning into a full-time professional in the Marathi theatre. Since 1955, when he wrote his first play, Shri Matkari has grown into a major voice in the Marathi theatre, and has enriched it with his copious output as a dramatist. He is a multifaceted and dynamic creator, who entered upon his career as a writer of one-act plays, a genre then in its infancy in Maharashtra. He soon turned to children’s theatre, founding in 1962 the Balnatya company which has produced his numerous plays for children. His contribution in this sphere is regarded as especially significant. He has besides successfully explored a wide range of genres including drawing-room comedies, farces, musicals, mythologicals, and even plays of the supernatural. Altogether, Shri Matkari is the author of some forty plays, most of which have been published and produced. Many of them have received Maharashtra State Government Awards, including Premkahani and the children’s play Madhumanjiri. He has toured widely with his productions of Katha Darshan, Sata Lota, Char Divas Premache, and Lok-katha ’78, a play on the Dalit condition. His commitment to social change stands out in much of his work. For experimental work on the stage, he established the company Sutradhar in 1970. Shri Matkari is the recipient of a number of honours for his varied work including the Akhil Bharatiya Natya Parishad Award (1978). Shri Ratnakar Matkari receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribu- tion to theatre as a playwright.