If one goes to the auditorium of the Ravindra Bhavan complex in Margao, there is a large picture of a man named Joao Agostinho Fernandes , the doyen of Konkani tiatr for Goans. The Chief Minister of Goa Mr Digambar kamat has been instrumental in ensuring that by fullfilling the promise made to the tiatr fraternity in Goa by honouring the late Joao Agostinho Fernandes, he had successfully won the confidence of many tiatr lovers in the state of Goa.
The naming of the auditorium after the founder of Goan Konkani tiatr, was a long standing demand made by the Dalgado Konknni academi (DKA) way back in 2005 among a charter of fourteen demands.
The reverence for Mr Joao Agostinho Fernandes stems from the fact that his contribution to the development of tiatr has been cherished in the hearts and minds of Goans worldwide.
Goan tiatr as many would not be aware, was actually born in the city of Mumbai around 116 years back in the year 1892 ad a young man called Lucazinho Ribeiro hailing from Sokolwaddo Assagao in Bardez Goa, could be traced as the earliest innovator of the modern day tiatr. Lucazinho along with Joao Agostinho Fernandes hailing from the city of Margao and others, staged the first tiatr performance on the occasion of Easter on April 17 1892. This first tiatr was titled " Italian Bhurgo" which was based on an Italian Opera called " Italian Boy". Due to his die hard and sincere efforts to produce tiatrs of better standards, Joao Agostinho Fernandes is identified as the Father of tiatr in Goa.
JA Fernandes was a true artiste of high talent and believed in doing things through hard work and perfection. While most dramas of those days were imitations of English and French theatre, JA Fernandes was unhappy with them because they did not reflect the Goan way of life.
His desire for the Goan touch to the tiatr, brought out his creativity and he decided to write original scripts which include Cavelchi Sundori (Cavel is a place in South Mumbai near Dhobitalao and Sundori means beautiful), revolta de Satari ( based on the Revolt of Sattari in Goa), Bhattkara ( Goan landlo
In 1943, on the occasion of completing fifty years of Goan tiatr, Joao Agostinho fernandes demonstrated his selfless humility when he, despite being the tallest tiatr personality himself, paid rich tributes to Lucazinho ribeiro in an article in a Konkani Weekly called "Goa Mail".
It is indeed a pride for all Goans to see this great Goan inscribe his name in the main auditorium of tiatrs hotbed of Salcete in Margao at the Ravindra Bhavan.