A.S Murthy

Playwright, Actor, All India Radio artist, Pioneer of street theatre, puppeteer, Film journalist, Critic, and founder of many cultural organizations

A.S. Murthy is a name that evokes immense respect in the Kannada cultural field. A known progressive thinker, A.S Murthy always looked to new avenues to constantly reinvent himself. He founded many institutions. He brought a breath of fresh air into Kannada theatre by establishing a theatre group named Chithra in 1951.

He gave the female voice an organizational structure by setting up the Women’s’ Litterateur’s Association in 1967. This attempt to empower the women and champion their rights and talents was the first of its kind in Karnataka. He gave a contemporary touch and popularized the long lost art of puppeteering, when he started puppet land in 1969. The social activist in him came to the fore, when he used theatre as a constructive protest tool, by enacting the first street play in Karnataka in 1974.

He is referred to as the Grand Old Man of Street Theatre. He became a household name as Aakashvaani Eeranna with his radio shows Ondu mathu and Mane mathu.

His deep baritone voice espoused the voice of the common man and catapulted the shows to cult status. His foray into television included popular shows like Jigi Jigi Bombe aata and putani.com.

His affair with cinema is also well documented. His repertoire includes acting, scripting, screenplay writing, dialogue writing, however he is best known as a film journalist and critic. With a keen eye for spotting new talent, Murthy founded many more institutions and made theatre accessible to everyone.

He made Hanumanth nagar, his home for over 60 years, a hub for thriving cultural activities. Literature, art, and theatre continue to flourish in this place.