By Cheena Kapoor
NEW DELHI (AA) – Ebrahim Alkazi, one of India’s most prominent theatre artists and winners of several gallantry awards died in Delhi on Tuesday, at the age of 95.
“He died of a massive heart attack at a private hospital in Delhi,” confirmed his son and theatre director, Feisal Alkazi to local media, The Indian Express.
Credited for revolutionizing Indian theatre, Alkazi was born in India to a wealthy Saudi-Arabian father and Kuwaiti mother in 1925. While his family moved to Pakistan during the India-Pakistan partition, he decided to stay back in India.
In the late ’40s, Alkazi visited London to pursue arts and was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Upon return, he did powerful renditions of Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Chekov, and August Strindberg.
At the age of 37, in 1962, Alkazi became the Director of the National School of Drama (NSD), a position he held till 1977, the longest tenure ever in the history of the institute and thus is also known as- the Father of NSD.
For his theatre works, Alkazi has been awarded India’s second-highest civilian award- Padma Vibhushan, third-highest- Padma Bhushan, and fourth-highest-Padma Shri awards.
During his lifetime, Alkazi directed over 50 plays, including famous ‘Tughlaq’, ‘And Yug’, and ‘Ashadh ka Ek din’.
He is now survived by his two sons- Feisal Alkazi and Amal Allana.