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Vayala Vasudevan Pillai dies at 66

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Drama artiste Vayala Vasudevan Pillai, who was the former director of the School of Drama, died at the Lake Shore hospital in Kochi on Monday afternoon. He was suffering from cancer for the past few months and was undergoing treatment from two weeks. He is survived by his wife Valsala.

Vayala Vasudevan Pillai was a son of Neelakandan Pillai and Kalyani Amma, who belonged to Kottarakara. He was the disciple of eminent playwright G Sankaran Pillai and is recipient of Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Acedemy award in 2009 for his comprehensive achievements. He went through the rigorous academic training to achieve his goals. After receiving doctorate from an Indian University, he left for Rome for his post graduation diploma in 1981.

The theatre artiste also received training in Japanese theatre at the Meiji Univesity in Tokyo in 1996. In 2001, Vasudevan Pillai researched on 'The Semiotics of Beckett's Plays' at the University of Paris and on 'Space in Greek Classical Theatre' at University of Athens in 2008. He also specialised on the works of Irish playwright JM Synge.

He directed over 40 plays, including those of Bhasa and Sophocles. Some of his award winning plays are 'Thulaseevanam', which won Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy award, 'Agni', which won Kerala Sahithya Acedemy award, 'Oru pakshikkunjinte Maranam', 'Viswa Darsanam', 'Kunjichirakukal', 'Varavelpu' and 'Kuchelagatha, which won the Nalappadan Award. He was teacher of English Literature of Mar Ivanios College in Thiruvanathapuram.

The mortal remains of Vayala Vasudevan Pillai has been taken to his residence at Ayyanthole in Thrissur and would be kept at Regional Theatre in Thrissur from 9 am to 10.30 am for public tribute. Later, his body would be cremated on the banks of Bharathapuzha at Cheruthuruthy with state honours.

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