The very first play by H. S. Shiva Prakash launched him into fame as a major voice of Kannada theatre. The first production by C. G. Krishnaswamy was hailed as a landmark in the history of Kannada theatre. A later production directed by Iqbal Ahamad for Samudaya was selected the best Indian Production of the Year for Sangeet Natak Akademi annual festival held in Chandigarh. In the early 1990s, the play became the target of attack by fundamentalist religious groups. It was defended stoutly by all progressive groups. The controversy lasted at all levels of Karnataka society from roadside to legislature for two years. The play won the best Drama Prize of Karnataka Sahitya Academy also. Published and staged successfully in Hindi and Malayalam also.
Sultan Tippoo 1989
Another landmark of Kannada theatre. First directed by C. G. Krishnaswamy for South Zone Theatre Festival of Sangeet Natak Akademi, the play has undergone many new productions at the hands of leading younger directors. Translated and staged successfully in Hindi and Urdu. Published in Malayalam and Bengali also.
Shakespeare Swapna Nowke 1991
A new look at Shakespeare, his times and works from an Indian angle in the context of rise of capitalism and East India Company. Several successful productions in Karnataka including the first by C. G. Krishnaswamy. The English translation published in Theatre India. Parts of this play was staged in Department of Theatre, University of Iowa, USA and New York Amateur Theatre Group, USA. An excerpt included in the anthology ‘Same Sex Love: Readings from India’ (St. Martin Press, New York, 2000).
Manteswamy Katha Prasanga 1993
An immensely popular folk musical opera based on the exploits of the legendary dalit saint Manteswamy. Selected for Zonal Theatre Festival of Sangeet Natak Akademi in Pondicherry. There have been more than 400 shows of different stage versions of this play, particularly the first version directed by Suresh Anagally. The play provided a new perspective on the cultural history of dalits in Karnataka. Successfully stage all over India.
Madari Madayya 1994
First directed by Basavalingaiah for South Zone Theatre Festival of Sangeet Natak Akademi in Madurai. This play has been immensely popular on Kannada stage. It also rivets on the life and deeds of the famous dalit saint of Karnataka Male Madeshwara. The play was praised because of its complex treatment of the themes of ecology and neo-colonialism. Also staged successfully in English by the celebrated Manipuri director, Prof. Lokendra Arambam. Published in English.
Silappadigaram: Mooru Natakagalu 2000
A collection of three plays centering around the theme of marriage.
The first play Sati is a re-telling of the Puranic story of the myth of Daksha’s sacrifice highlighting the conflict between mainstream and marginal societies. It foregrounds how women become the worst victims of such conflicts as typified by Sati, Shiva’s consort, who is the protagonist of the play. The best known production was done in Assamese/Rabha/Bado languages and directed by the Manipuri director, Heisnem Thomba. This production was selected for Bharatiya Rang Mahotsav of National School of Drama and a festival of Sangeet Natak Akademi organized by the lead actress, Roanti Rabha was honoured with Bismillah Khan Youth Award for her performance in the play.
The second play Cassandra is a re-working of Aeschylus’ play Agamemnon. This version focusses on the character of the war victim Cassandra. English translation published in Indian Literature.
The third play Maduve Hennu is one of Shiva Prakash’s best known plays praised for its
intense lyricism and deep insights into man – woman relationship is written in the style of Japanese No Play. It has been produced successfully several times in Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam and Manipuri. The English translation published by Rupa Books, New Delhi. The Malayalam translation published in the leading journal Paccha Kuthira edited by Prof. K. Satchidanandam.
Maduve Atagalu Ityadi. 2008
A book of three plays based on the ancient Tamil epic Silappadhigaram.
The first play Madhura Kanda was staged by Samudaya and directed by Suresh Anagally. It was praised for its stage lyricism and sensitive treatment of the epic material. Also, translated and staged successfully in Tamil and Malayalam.
The second play Madhavi has been staged successfully in Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and English. The English translation published first by Indian Literature and then by Rupa Books, New Delhi. The play received encomiums for poignant treatment of the theme of separation centering around a key character of the ancient epic.
The third play is an expressionist play re-telling the complex love triangle story between the protagonist Kovalam and his two women, Kannagi and Madhavi. Apart from several stage productions in Kannada, the play has been published and staged in Hindi as well.
Mastakabhisheka Reherssallu 2010
Marks the departure from predominantly myth oriented earlier plays by Shiva Prakash. Ideally meant for a multi-media production is centers around the complex dimensions of the well-known ritual of Mastakabhisheka held nearly every twelve years in Shravana Belogola, the famous Jain place of pilgrimage. While emphasizing the original Jain emphasis on Ahimsa (nonviolence). The play depicts how the great site of this value is becoming corroded by market economy and globalization. Successfully directed by Suresh Anagally in Kannada. The production was selected for Bharatiya Rang Mahotsav, the annual international theatre festival of National School of Drama, New Delhi. The English translation published in Indian Literature, New Delhi.