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ATMARAM GOVIND BHENDE

Shri. Atmaram Bhende, fondly referred to as Bapu, was born on May 7th, 1923.

He completed his Engineering in L. T. M. from V.J.T.I. in 1945. Shri Bhende worked as an Engineer and in executive positions in several reputed organizations such as Volkart Brothers, textile commissioner's office etc. Retired in May 1981 from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, after working as a senior executive for seventeen years.

Shri Bhende has been active on the Marathi stage in the capacity of Director, Actor, and Producer for the last sixty years and is well known for his versatility. He has so far directed and produced more than seventy plays, including several children's play. He has the distinction of over one hundred shows and at least two plays directed by him running for more than five hundred shows. Bhende's major contributions to the theatre in Maharashtra are as follows:

Radio, Television and Films:

Bhende is a regular participant in radio plays for the past 55 years. He has also produced several radio plays and documentaries for the Bombay station of All India radio. Bhende is a popular television artiste. He has acted in several Marathi television plays and in important Hindi T. V. serials like "Yatra" and "Chunouti". He directed a T. V. film entitled "Sparsha" in the serial "Ek Kahani" and many others. His latest contribution was the Marathi serial "Awhan" which helped to create social consciousness about the evils of dowry and the role that society can play in stamping it out. He directed this serial and also played a major role in it. He also directed serial 'Ratrani" based on story by the welknown Marathi writer Shri G. A. Kulkarni. Bhende has so far acted in eighteen Marathi films, one Hindi film, several documentaries, educational films and adfilms.

Publications:

Bhende has written a Marathi play and has translated two plays of Thornton Wilder, Viz. 'Our Town' and the 'Matchmaker', into Marathi, both of which were published. He has also written several children's plays for radio, which have been published in book form. He also writes articles on Theatre in journals and magazines.

Organization of Cultural Activities:

As the Secretary of the Marathi Section of the Indian National Theatre since its inception in 1945, Bhende shouldered the responsibility of organizing several cultural activities in addition to directing and producing most of the Marathi plays staged by the Indian National Theatre. He also organized the Inter-Collegiate Full length Drama competitions and Kavi-Sammellans organized by INT. He was also responsible for organizing the first Folk- Drama festival organized by INT and in that connection toured the whole of Maharashtra to study the various forms of the folk theatre in Maharashtra. At present, he has his own theatre group "Purnima".

Study Tours:

In 1962, Bhende visited the U.K. and U.S.A. and several other countries in Europe and Far East. In the U.S.A. he had the opportunity to study the theatre movement very closely. He was associated with the "Actor's Workshop" in San Francisco and studied the production of one play right from the first rehearsal to the first show. He also studied the drama courses conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, He mode a special study of the Educational television in the U.S.A. In Japan, he studied the Kabuki theatre. In 1962, he visited Calcutta for the study of Bengali theatre during the Rabindranath Tagore Centenary Year under a special scheme of the Government.

          

"Life Time Achievement Award" - Alpha Gaurav Puraskar 2003(Alpha Marathi)

Awards, Honors, etc.:

Address: 'Purnima ' D-12 Dattaguru Society Devnar Road, Mumbai 400 088 Tel. 2556 5143 email: nbhende@gmail.com


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