The well-known Malayalam dramatist C. J. Thomas is of the opinion that "JINOAA" was the first Malayalam play to be the written in a well-constructed manner based on the principles of Natyashastra.
Formerly artists from Tamilnadu used to visit Kerala and perform plays here, thus Malayalam Theater has been greatly influenced by Tamil Theater. The element of music has always been very prominent in Malayalam dramas.
K. C. Keshav Pillai's "SADARAM" drama became very popular on the Malayalam stage. Another playwright M. Krishna Pillai studied Western Theater and by presenting many famous plays from the literatures of the West on Malayalam stage gave a new mould and turn to the dramatic activity of the Malayalam theater. Most of his plays were comedies.
Kerala People's Art Club (KPAC) has performed plays by Kalidasa and other plays of which Thomas Bhasi's plays deserve mention. On account of availability of good facilities for staging all kinds of plays at the Kerala Kalanilayam. KPAC has been presenting very good plays there.
"AGNIPINJARAM" was performed in 1954 and Kainikar Kumar Pillai's "ASHVAMEDHAM" was staged in 1962. Thomas Bhasi's "KUTUMVITHAM", Cherukad's "MOOLAMKUTAM", Chandrashekhar Nair's "DOCTOR" and Manmoore's "MANUSHYAMAKKAM VADITHOM" have been notable plays of the Malayalam Theater.
Besides the above, plays by M. Krishna Pillai, Shankar Pillai and Narayan Pillai are considered important plays in Malayalam language.
K. N. Panikkar has won recognition both as a writer and a director of plays within the country and abroad. His "MADHYAM VYAYAYOG" (Sanskrit) and Malayalam plays "KARIMKUTTI", and "PASHU GAYATRI" are moteworthy. Another playwright P. Keshavdev's plays inspired by the communist ideology had caused a sensation on the Malayalam stage.
The plays "PRALAYAM" and "ITHU NAMUDAINABANU" by the New Generation dramatist Om Cheri are deserving of notice. The Malayalam drama literature has today a treasure of over 70 printed original dramas presented in original editions. In this way Malayalam Theater has something unique to offer to the development of Indian Drama.
The information presented here in respect of the Malayalam Theatre has been gathered from available sources. It has been like an attempt to gather pearls from the ocean. It is possible that some happenings, names of some dramas and dramatists and drama artists may have been left out. For our lack of knowledge we seek your forgiveness and at the same time request the experts in this field to draw our attention to any errors or mistakes by writing to us the correct details. We assure you such corrections will be promptly carried out.
Further the names of dramas, playwrights and drama artists who are listed here are not in any order of priority of their qualities or achievements but only with a view to present the information as it has been gathered.
Lastly we once again request you to send in your suggestions, information etc. in respect of Malayalam dramas and thereby enrich this humble record of the Malayalam Theatre.