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Surabhi Drama Society has a history of 135 years. Surabhi ancestors belonged to Maratha and served as soldiers under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. They also fought during the war. Later they migrated to Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh and took shelter in a village called Balakonda. One of their family members by name Vanarasa Sanjeeva Rao started the play of Puppet Dances for living which slowly became famous in the village and surrounding villages and became a necessary part of all functions.
Sanjeev Rao later entered Telugu drama life with puppets and his ancestor Govinda Rao went to many talkies in India and learned many new things related to plays and acting. It was Govinda Rao who was the first in Surabhi to introduce actors performing on stage instead of puppets.
The play “Keechaka Vadha (A Story from Mahabharata) was first performed on stage in 1885 with Govinda Rao in the lead role. Since most of the artists are from the same family and the village Surabhi, the Troup was known as Surabhi. Slowly Surabhi introduced women playing women characters.
In 1931 with the first talkie film in Telugu was Bhakta Prahlada. Prahlada role was enacted by Surabhi member Krishna Rao, and in the same film “Surabhi Kamalabai”, “Surabhi Balasaraswati” also starred in the film. Our Surabhi has impressed many people by also starring in many movies. Surabhi considers it fortunate that Mahatma Gandhi saw and appreciated their “Satya Harishchandra” play.
In order to make the plays even more amazing and innovative to the masses and to impress the masses, Surabhi introduced the tricks live and wrote, directed and played the most famous Play Mayabazar . Sri K V Reddy saw the play and was amazed. He bought play rights and shown on the silver screen in 1957 with hugely successful blockbuster with famous actors like N T Rama Rao, S V Ranga Rao, A Nageswara Rao, Savitri, Relangi etc.
Over time, the Surabhi family grew into a large family, and expanded to 64 Surabhi troupes.
Surabhi companies have been declining over the years as the number of viewers of drama shows has declined under the influence of TV and movies.
Surabhi Institutional Plays: Mayabazar, Patalabhairavi, Chenchulakshmi, Bhakta Prahlada, Sri Potuluri Brahmangari charithra, Sri Krishna Leelalu, Sri Krishna Thulabharam, Lavakusha, Kurukshetra, Balanagamma, Raja Vikramarka, Bhukailas, Satyam Vada Dharma Chara (Social Drama) AND MANY MANY MORE