After inaugurating the festival, M.S. Sathyu said that Kavalam Narayana Panickar, the doyen of Malayalam theatre, should not be restricted to any language. "He belongs to world theatre. Any attempt to categorize people according to language they speak should be condemned," said Sathyu, referring to the recent incident where actor Jaya Bachchan was made to apologize for making a remark against Marathi.
Festival director Chandradasan presided over the function. Kavalam Narayana Panickar was presented with mementos by representatives of the Ernakulam Press Club and Lokadharmi, a centre for theatre training, research and performance in India. The inaugural session was followed by the staging of Sanskrit play Karnabharam, written by Mahakavi Bhasa and directed by Kavalam.
Eight plays will be presented during the festival. Lokadharmi will present the Malayalam translation of 'Karnabharam', written by Kavalam and directed by Chandradasan, on Tuesday. Ashish Vidyarthi, a National Film Award winning actor, will present a play 'Ottayan' on stage on September 20. Veterans Jagannathan will also act in the title role of 'Ottayan', which was written by Kavalam in 1977.