Ebrahim Alkazi, theatre doyen and former NSD director, dies at 94

The legendary theatrician mentored generations of actors, including Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri

Ebrahim Alkazi
Alkazi served as director at the NSD between 1962 and 1977 | File Photo: Twitter

Theatre doyen Ebrahim Alkazi, who was the longest serving director of the National School of Drama (NSD), passed away on Tuesday (August 4) after suffering a cardiac attack. He was 94. He died at the Escorts Hospital in New Delhi, said his son Feisal Alkazi.

“Dad died this evening at 2.45 pm after a massive heart attack. He was admitted to the Escorts hospital the day before yesterday,” said the son.

Alkazi, who served as director at the NSD between 1962 and 1977, produced plays such as Girish Karnad’s Tughlaq and Dharamvir Bharati’s Andha Yug. He mentored generations of actors, including Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.

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Before taking up charge at the premier drama institute, he was in Mumbai, where he rose to prominence as a theatre actor. He is credited for revolutionising theatre in India. After he quit the NSD at 50, he and his wife Roshen set up the Art Heritage gallery in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences, saying, “Shri Ebrahim Alkazi will be remembered for his efforts to make theatre more popular and accessible across India. His contributions to the world of art and culture are noteworthy too. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace.”

“Ebrahim Alkazi, doyen of Indian theatre, mentored and inspired generations of artists. His death leaves a void in the world of performing arts. A Padma Vibhushan recipient, his legacy will live on. My condolences to his family, students and art lovers,” said President Ram Nath Kovind.

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra said, “One can write a volumes about him (Alkazi). A theatre director, a teacher, a art curator. A great great man. Unfortunately we like mediocrity!”

(With inputs from agencies)

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