Janardhan H. (Janni)
Director, Rangayana, Mysore.

Name : Janardhan H. (Janni)
Address : No.28, Regional College Extension, Bhogadi 2nd Stage, Prashanthanagar, Mysore-570 026.
Date of Birth : 21-07-1958 (56 years)
Education : National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi (1983-1986)
Present Occupation : Director, Rangayana, Mysore.


Janardhan has involved himself very creatively in the Kannada theatre and Indian theatre for the last three-and –half decades. He entered into the field through Dalit and Samudaya movement and as such he believes that theatre is an unfailing instrument to create awareness and bring about social change. He has created a niche for himself as director, singer and music director through his myriad activities connected with the theatre. He is affectionately called ‘Janamanada Jenni’ as he has identified himself totally with the pulse of the people through his songs which have a  unique stamp of his conviction and commitment.

After graduation from the National School of Drama, New Delhi, he has been working as Drama Teacher at Demonstration Multi-purpose School of Regional Institute for Education, Mysore. As a General Secretary of Samudaya cultural organization he has travelled the length and breadth of Karnataka with a view to establishing the units of Samudaya all over. He has inspired innumerable youngsters throughout the state to come to theatre as actors and singers and directors. Janni has organized many theatre festivals, Seminars and workshops. His contribution to street-theatre, Dalit theatre and in introducing cultural aspects to women’s movement is particularly noteworthy. He has worked with unflagging zeal for the evolution of folk theatre in Karnataka.
As an Actor

‘Hayavadana’ : Girish Karnad
‘Mother’ : Brecht
`Kubi mattu Iyala’ : Purnachandra Tejaswi
‘Samskara’ : U.R. Ananthamurthy
‘Kattale Dari Doora’ :
‘Chora charanadasa’ :
‘Shishunala Sharifa’ :
‘Kuri’ :

In addition to these plays he has taken part is street-plays such as a ‘Patre Sangappa’  and `Belchi’ etc., which have been put up through out the State.

As a Director

‘Kusuma Bale’ : Devanoor Mahadeva
‘Thukrana Kanasu’ : Chandrashekara Kambar
‘Bimba’ & ‘Bande Kolalu’ : Chaduranga
‘Sayo Aata’ : Bendre
‘Jalagara’ : Kuvempu
‘Samagara Bheemavva : H.S. Shivaprakash
‘Madari Madayya’ : H.S. Shivaprakash
‘Singiraja Sampadane’ : H.S. Shivaprakash
‘Alle Kunthavare’ : Siddalingaih
‘Charvaka’ :
‘Caucasian Chalk Circle :
‘Bolaramana Jeeva, etc.,

Pioneer of Street-plays

as one of the organizers of Samudaya Janni has played a pioneering role in staging streetplays in Karnataka, besides taking part as an actor. ‘Belchi’, ‘Souhardathe’, ‘Yechchara’, ‘Ondanondu Ooru’, ‘Gandhi Heliddu’, ‘Aashaya’, `Dambaru Bandaddu’,  ‘Gumasthana Saavu’-these are some of the plays he directed. The plays he wrote and directed are ‘Patre Sangappana Kole’ ‘Naragunda Bandaya’, ‘Swathanthrya Andu-Indu’. They have been staged all over the State. The venues outside the state are Kolkata,Delhi, Hyderabad, Bharat Bhavan of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. They have been staged in National Street-play Festivals.

Kavya Ranga Proyog

Janni is among the pioneers who lent a dramatic dimension to poetry which was largely confined to the recitation tradition. He, with the guidance of the late K. Ram.Nagaraj, dramatized poetry and the works he included have been ‘Singiraja Sampadane’,  ‘Samagara Bheemavva’, ‘Alle Kunthavare’,  ‘Koleya Hindina Rathri’, ‘Katte Mattu Dharma’, ‘Kalki Mattu Nagi’, etc. As a study Instrument of Literacy Janni has adopted as dance features the works ‘Badapayi Madappa’ , ‘Ee Nela Ee Jala’, ‘Ishtu Bega Maduve Yakavva’, ‘Kondavaryaru’, ‘Hachchbyada Hachchbyadavva’.

The Association of Celebrated Theatrists

Fitz Benevitz, B.V. Karanth, Badal Sarkar, Prasanna, M.S. Sathyu,  C.G. Krishnaswamy, Robin Doss, Amal Allana, B.M. Shah, Ankur, Alok Nanda Samrat, Gurujie Panikkar, Narasimhan, Prema Karanth-Janni has associated himself with these and more theatre stalwarts  at different stages in his career so far and interacted with them creatively and has added new dimensions and perspectives to his understanding of the Indian  and the world theatre.

As an Organiser

He has directed innumerable plays for so many cultural organizations and academies. He has travelled from Bidar district to Kolar district and put up cultural programs. The programs that need to be highlighted are ‘Samudaya Jatha’, for New Values’, (1979-1980) and ‘Jatha for the Peasants’ Causes’ (1980-1981). In these programs he has taken part as actor, director, organizer and so on. During his tenure as the member of Nataka Academy he has for the first time organised ‘Tribal theatre’. He put up Rangotsava-97’ by organizing ‘Modern Theatre A Discuss’ Majorly keeping in mind Girish Karnad’s contribution.

As Singer & Director of Music

As music director he has contributed to the plays: ‘Soorya Shikari’, ‘Dharmapuriya Devadasi’, ‘Dyavanooru’, ‘Mane’, ‘Badapayi Madappa’, ‘Che Savar’, ‘Punteela’, ‘Jogathi’, ‘Taskara’, ‘Kerege Hara’, ‘Jasma Odan’, ‘Avva’ etc.,

He has released many cassettes on the themes : women and children, Literacy, Environment and on. The cassettes which have the stamp of his directorial guidance are : ‘Manukulada Haadu’, Thayi Hokkala Hoo’, ‘Saviraru Nadigalu’, ‘Aralada Moggugalu’, ‘Neelithare’, ‘Kempu Surya’, ‘Kelavva Thayi’, ‘Hadalla Nanna odaluri’, ‘Sakshara Hejje’, ‘Buddha Vandane’, ‘Kadu Mallige’, ‘Yelladdavo Kanasugalu’, ‘Banada Hadu’, ‘A Bettadalli Beladingalu’, ‘Nanna Janagalu’, etc., He has lent his voice as a lead singer in the cassette on Basavanna’s Vachanas, directed by late C. Ashwath. He has also sung under the direction of B.V. Karanth, V. Manohar and Hamsalekha.

In Doordarshan and Cinema

Janni entered the field of cinema through ‘Bara’ and then he has scored music and perfomed as a playback singer in the following movies : ‘Mathadana’, ‘Amasa’, ‘A Aa I Ee’, ‘Duniya’, ‘Pari’, ‘Mathad Mathad Mallige’, ‘Sinagaravva Aramane’, ‘Nodu Ba Nammura’. He has won the State award for playback singing in the film ‘Nodu Ba Nammura’,. He has provided background music to television serial like ‘Neethi Chakra’, ‘O Nanna Chethana’, ‘Kadina Makkalu’, ‘Neenelliruve’ and ‘Crime-Time’ and sung the title song.

Nataka Karnataka Rangayana

Janni has worked with the late B.V. Karanth when he was contemplating to establish the state repertory, Rangayana. He has worked as the member of the Selection Committee of the artistes for Rangayana and hence, in a why, he has journeyed with B.V. Karanth at all stages is giving a definite shape to Rangayana.

Literacy Movement

Janni is one of the pioneers who have given a cultural dimension to literacy movement. He has written a number of streetplays besides directing them in this regard. He has worked as a State Convenor of the Literacy Movement.

Janamana Cultural Organization:

‘Janamana’ is a cultural organization that took birth two and a half decades ago and through this forum Janni has moulded thousands of young men and women, especially, college students and introduced them to the field of theatre. Thus, he has transformed them to be committed individuals whose perceptions record and register the voice of the marginalized and the downtrodden. Janni is particularly concerned about the rural talent and he is promoting theatre activities involving them. Thus, the programmes like ‘Manuja Matha Vishwa  Patha’, `Sarvajanangada Shanthiya hota’, ‘Karunalu Ba Belake’.  have conveyed the message to the larger society about the necessity of communal harmony, societal coherence and ‘live and let live’ attitude. The troupe formed by Janni is travelling all over Karnataka rendering Tattva-Padas and the people-oriented songs.

Vishva Kannada Sammelana

He has presented programmes at Boltimore in America in 2006 as a part of Vishva Kannada Sammelana. He has thrilled the audiences in places like Washington, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Connecticut, with his unique singing. He has also participated in Vishva Kannada Sammelana at Los Angeles in 2010 and has given splendid performances. The programmes he has given at California, San Francisco, Sam Housie have been a thundering success.


Janni has won many State Level awards besides earning the applause national by and internationally:

  • Karnataka Nataka Academy award.
  • Karnataka cinema playback singing award.
  • Ambedkar award from government of Karnataka.
  • K.V. Shankaregowda award from Mandya.
  • Rotary Kannada Rajyotsava award.
  • Rangashree award.