The new cultural humanism in kerala began to take shape in the early decades of 20th century. The renaissance in the socio political scenario paved the way for a new and progressive approach in the cultural arena also. The tradition of entertainment which revolved round the aristocratic tastes was forced to highlight the plight of the sidelined and the neglected. It infused new blood to transform the keralite spirit and concept of art. The impetus for the new culture was strengthened by the literary works of eminent poets and playwrights. The social reformers realized drama as a popular form of art and excellent medium of communication. It all tended towards the rapid advances in the development of drama from its crude and feudal form. The dramas "Adukkalayil Ninnum Arangathekku" by VT Battathirippad (1929), "Marakkudakkullile Mahanarakam" by MRB (1930), "Pattabakki" by K Damodaran (1937), "Irthumathi" by Premji (1938), "Prathima" by Kuttanattu Ramakrishna Pillai (1946), "Jethakkal" by ponkunnam Varky (1946),"Thottilla" by Thakazhy Sivasankara Pillai (1946), "Nammalonnu" by Cherukadu (1948), "Koottukrishi" by Edasseri Govindan Nair (1950) etc; prepared the ground for easy germination of a people's theatre in kerala.


The origin - "Ente Makanaanu Sari" (My Son is Right)

Towards the end of 1950, N Rajagopalan Nair, G Janardhana Kurup, Issac Thomas, and S Prabhakaran Nair - all law students in Ernakulam, decided to stage Dostoyevsky's "Karamazov Brothers" in Malayalam. A public notice was printed in the name of "Kerala People's Arts Club" but nothing came out of it. According to Adv. G Janardhana Kurup, though they met at Ernakulam for "Karamazov Brothers" the name of KPAC was fixed by himself and Rajagopalan Nair in their personal meeting at Mararithottam. There is another version that KPAC was founded on a project report submitted by Kottayam Sreeni to the Kerala State Committee of Communist Party of India. But Prof. ONV Kurup remembers little differently. Rajagopalan Nair, G. Janardhana Kurup, Rajamony, Sreenarayana Pillai and ONV together sought Prof. MP Paul for advice and assistance to form a theatre and they decided to stage a drama, and later the name KPAC was emerged at a discussion in CP Sathram Thiruvananthapuram. Rajagopalan Nair MLA and Adv. Janardhana Kurup had jointly completed the script of the first play "Ente Makananu Sari" and its songs were written by Punalur Balan. Adv. G Janardhana Kurup, Adv. N. Rajagopalan Nair MLA, TA Mytheen Kunju MLA, Adv. MP Kuttappan, KS George, Sulochana and Janaki were the first actors. Kottayam Sreeni was the troupe convenor and Poojappura Krishnan Nair, its Manager. The play was inaugurated in VJT Hall, Thiruvananthapuram in 1951 and it marked the beginning of the saga of success to the present day KPAC.


"Ningalenne Communistakki"(You made me a Communist)

It was Thoppil Bhasi's first play"Ningalenne Communistakki" that found a place for KPAC in the hearts of keralites. Thoppil Bhasi had written the script in his underground shelters. G Janardhana Kurup and N Rajagopalan Nair MLA directed the play jointly. ONV Kurup, then a young poet penned the songs and G Devarajan, a promising musician set them to music. The singers KS George and Sulochana joined them to create sweet emotions and experiences. Kampisseri Karunakaran MLA took the leading role guiding the audience to the progressive side. The other actors were Adv. G Janardhana Kurup, Adv. N Rajagopalan Nair MLA, O Madhavan, Thoppil Krishna Pillai, Bhaskara Panicker, V Sambasivan, Sreenarayana Pillai, Sulochana, Sudharma, Bhargavi and Vijayakumari. Kodakulangara Vasu Pillai was the troupe convenor and K Kesavan Potti was the chief co-ordinator. The drama was inaugurated at Chavara, Kollam, on December 6, 1952. After a while the most gifted actor PJ Antony, CG Gopinath and Adv. Kumarakom Sankunni Menon had also taken leading roles in this play. It was a stimulant to the weaker sections to emerge with a heady resolve against exploitation. The play was a protest against the feudal system that prevailed in kerala and it was the clarion call to rise and fight oppression. On the 85th day of its inauguration, the play was banned by the government, and after two months of legal fight the ban was lifted by the Honorable High Court. The well-known research scholar Mr. Robin Jeffrey commented on this play "It swept like a storm for months up and down kerala. You Made Me a Communist, both symbolized and extended kerala's changing political culture. The fact that audiences responded so enthusiastically indicated that they sympathized with the ideas of equality and struggle that the play sought to convey...The efforts to ban the play testified to its effectiveness." Since its appearance this play remained the most popular in Malayalam and performed in more than six thousand stages and changed the course of history.


Patrons and prominent persons behind the staging of 'Ningalenne Communistakki'

MN Goindan Nair, Prof. MP Paul, R Sankara Narayanan Thampi, K Kesavan Potti, Adv. KS Rajamony, N Sreedharan (in Travancore-Cochin), KPR Gopalan, EMS Namboodirippad, AK Gopalan, KA Keraleeyan, NE Balaram, K Damodharan, MK Kelu, Azheekkodan Raghavan, Chathunni Master, AV Kunjambu, Justice. VR Krishna Iyer (in Malabar), E Balanandan, Prithviraj Kapoor, KA Abbas, Belraj Sahny (in Bombay).


Thoppil Bhasi and other cultural stalwarts associated with KPAC.

KPAC staged 17 more dramas written and directed by Thoppil Bhasi. He had also directed 9 plays written by others. It was Thoppil Bhasi and his plays that contributed the most for KPAC to attain its present day esteemed status. Though he had done prominent works in silver screen, he is mainly remembered as an eminent playwright. He won many awards from Kerala Sahithya Academy, Kendra Sahithya Academy, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy, and Kerala State Government. His plays were translated to other languages and a few are text books in some Universities.


Eminent playwrights - Ponkunnam Varkey, Vaikkom Chandrasekaran Nair, N.N. Pillai, SL Puram Sadanandan, N Krishna Pillai, KT Mohamed, Thikkodiyan and Kaniyapuram Ramachandran had their plays performed by KPAC. ONV Kurup, Vayalar Ramavarma, Kaniyapuram Ramachandran and K Kesavan Potti had written songs for KPAC. Artists Kesavan and Sujathan painted the scenery for all the plays. The renowned musician MB Sreenivasan, K Raghavan, LPR Varma, MS Baburaj, V Dakshina Murthy and MK Arjunan composed music for the dramas. It is through KPAC that KS George and KPAC Sulochana found a premier place in Malayalee minds. KP Ummer, N Govindan Kutty, Sankaradi, Alummoodan, Manavalan Joseph, KPAC Lalitha, Adoor Bhavani, Pala Thankam, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, KPAC Sunny, Kottayam Chellappan, Sreelatha, Oduvil Unnikrishnan and Sai Kumar are some who entered cine screen from KPAC stages


KPAC and its performing tour

KPAC has conducted so many all India tours performing its dramas almost in all states. In 1986 the troupe went to Gulf countries and staged dramas there. In 1989 KPAC team visited USA and Canada and performed its dramas in many places

1     KPAC Films

KPAC Films was inaugurated on 10th May 1972. Its first cinema was "Enippadikal" based on the famous novel of Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. It was directed by Thoppil Bhasi. The second film "Neelakkannukal" was directed by the senior cine artist Madhu.

2     Silver Jubilee

In1975, KPAC celebrated Silver Jubilee at Kayamkulam and it was inaugurated by the Union Minister IK Gujral; and the chief Minister of Kerala C Achutha Menon presided over the function.

3     Golden Jubilee

During the period 2000-2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations were held at different places in kerala. It was inaugurated on 24th May 2000, at Trivandrum by the Honourable Vice President of India, Krishna Kanth. During the three day festival the Chief Minister of Kerala EK Nayanar, AB Bardhan, PK Vasudevan Nair , ONV Kurup, top artists DileepKumar, KJ Yesudas and others participated in the functions.



   Office Bearers






Adv. G. Janardhana Kurup         

Adv. N. Rajagopalan Nair


 Adv. G. Janardhana Kurup     

O. Madhavan


 Adv. G. Janardhana Kurup

K. Kesavan Potty


 Kambissery Karunakaran

Thoppil Bhasi


 Adv. N. Rajagopalan Nair

Adv. M. Gopi


Adv. Kumarakom Sankunni Menon

Adv. M. Gopi


P.K. Vasudevan Nair

Adv. M. Gopi



Adv. M. Gopi

2/12/2007- 15/2/2008        


Adv. A. Shajahan (acting secretary)

2008- till date                   

K.E. Ismail       

 Adv. A. Shajahan


 (C.G. Gopinath & KPAC Khan were joint secretaries for short terms. Issac George was the joint secretary of KPAC for more than 25 years and Adv. A. Shajahan was joint secretary for four years;And G Karthikeyan Ex. MLA was the treasurer for a long period.)