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MEANING: A single actor, in make-up, performed on the stage in one character (mythological, historical, folklore, social etc) with dialogues and expression for about 10 to 15 minutes bringing out the essence of that character. He/She will be alone on the stage and is free to utilize the entire stage. He can also act as if he is hearing the dialogues of some other character (not visible on the stage) and we ring those dialogues. The actor may use prose(gadyam) or verse(padyam) or can combine both as per his choice. Usually the performance is expected to be in the range of 10 to 15 minutes. The intrinsic talent of the artist can be best expressed in mono action. This form is like soliloquy(swagatham). The dialogues are written suiting the character.
Some of the famous mono action characters are: MayaSabha(Duryodhana) written by late M.Venkatarathnam. This work consists of 2 parts 1.The scene where Duryodhana enters the MayaSabha for a visit, which bewilders him and gets insulted when hit by an invisible door and laughed on by Draupadi. In the second part after returning to his place, he ruminates upon his insult and vows to take revenge n Pandavas. This is the prelude to false dice game(maaya dhuytam) with pandavas and to their exile to forests. This mono action is one of the most popular items from more than 50 years and is performed in most competitions for mono actions. This is also performed in the drama ”Sri Krishna Raayabaram” as the first scene. Famous artists such as Late Dhulipala Sitharama satry, Sri Achanta Venkatarantam Naidu, Thurlapati Radha Krishna murthy and other have performed it many number of times and may active and present actors also are performing this role.Audio CD of mayasabha rendered by the writer of this article, is included in this website(See audio CD section)
OTHER CHARACTERS Chanakya, Ravana, Karnam Thimmarasu, Sakuni, Alluri Seetharama raju, Yugundhara(minister), Girisam(kanyasulkam), Aswathama, Harishchandra(funeral scene), Bahuka(chitranalaayam), Balachandra, Abhimanyu, Ramadasu, Nayakuraly Nagamma, Manchala Sathi Savithri, and many more. Many artists through out Andhra Pradesh are performing these mono actions regularly on stage and in competitions also writers are crating new characters regularly for performance by artists.