Ninasam Tirugata

Started in 1985, and composed mainly of the alumni of the Ninasam Theatre Institute, this is a wandering theatre troupe which takes 3 new productions to different parts of Karnataka every year. It has so far performed at more than 250 centers, most of the rural/semi-urban, and put up around 3,000 shows over these 23 years, reaching a total audience of about 19,00,000, a feat unmatched in the annals of Indian Theatre. With its judicious selection of plays and production styles, it has taken Indian as well as Western classics, old as well as modern masterworks to an unparalleled variety of audiences all over its home state.


  • Established in 1985
  • Group of 20 (past students of NTI) formed every July; rehearse that season’s plays and travel all over the state till following March.
  • Formed afresh every year, disbanded at the end
  • 4 months of travel shows, usually, one show for every 50-100 kms of travel; performing almost every day (roughly, 120 shows in 140 days)
  • All members of the group paid equally


    • Has put up 99 productions; staged about 4000 shows before an estimated audience of 25 lakhs.
    • 80% of the shows have been done in taluka towns or still smaller places; has covered all districts of Karnataka, almost every year
    • Plays include Western, Indian and Kannada; directors are invited from Karnataka and outside as well
    • No dearth of shows/audience anywhere.



    • The total expenditure for the project has been approximately Rs. 1,15,000 in 1985; Rs. 4,50,000 in 1995; Rs. 13,00,000 in 2002; Rs. 24,00,000 in 2010; Rs. 33,50,000 in 2017. More than 60% of this spent on salary (Rs. 400 pm in 1,985, Rs. 3,500 pm in 2003; Rs. 6,000 pm in 2010; Rs. 10,000 pm in 2017)
    • Income: Grant from DOC, GOI (35%), revenue from invited shows (55%) and advertisement (10%)
    • Travel and Remuneration charges: Rs. 3000 for 3 shows in 1985; Rs. 10,000 for 3 shows in 2002; Rs. 15,000 in 2010 for 2 shows; Rs. 28,000 in 2017 for 2 shows.