H. V. Sharma

Shri H. Venkatarama Sharma was born in Hyderabad in 1921 into a family accomplished in the arts. He learnt Carnatic music from his mother and sister and was later a student of Hindustani music under Shankarlalji Maha- raj of the Benaras gharana. He also learnt portrait-painting under Sardar Nek Singh. Shri H.V. Sharma’s entry into the world of theatre occurred relatively late in life, when he joined the National School of Drama in 1960 after fourteen years of teaching school in Andhra Pradesh. He won the Girish Ghosh Award at NSD in 1962, and the following year joined Bal Bhavan in Delhi as a teacher of drama. Shri Sharma worked as a scenic designer in the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting between 1968 and 1977, and was thereafter Associate Professor at NSD until his retirement in 1985. Shri H.V. Sharma’s wide interests in the fine arts have flowed into his work on the stage, centring principally on scenic design, design of stage property and costume, and mask-making for theatrical purposes. His talents have been utilized in productions by notable directors, such as Raja Chamba aur Char Bhai by Habib Tanveer, Dard Ayegi Dabe Paon by Shiela Bhatia, Cinderella by Joy Michael, Roshomon by J. Tsuzuki, The Tempest by Fritz Bennewitz, Ghasiram Kotwal by Rajinder Nath, and recently Malavikagnimitram by K.S. Rajendran. While at the Song and Drama Division, Shri Sharma designed scenes for a number of sound-and-light shows such as Vision 1919 at Jalianwalla Bagh, Amritsar; Badhte Qadam at Purana Qila, Delhi; Asi As Asi Asav at Hari Parbat, Srinagar; and Subrah- manya Bharati at Rajaji Hall, Chennai. Shri Sharma has exhibited his non-theatrical masks, as works of art, at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, and has written and directed several mask plays such as Aisa Kyun Hota Hai? His publications include Theatre of the Buddhists (1987) and Rang Sthapatya: Kuchh Tippaniyan (2004). Shri H.V. Sharma receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to stagecraft in Indian theatre.