September 12th 1983 was a precious time for Gandrik Theatre because of its birth.
It is founded in Yogyakarta as a modern art theater and gives a color to characteristic
of Yogyakarta art. At that time, Kasiharto SH, the head of sub-district of Mantrijeron
Yogyakarta revealed his dismay when this group represents his area and win the
competition of Festival Pertunjukan Rakyat in local level. “Gandrik, are
you winning?” “Gandrik” in culture idiom of Java is an expression
of upset to some people and become an expression of hearing a thunder. “Gandrik,
putrane ki Ageng Sela” finally was used as a name. Therefore as a formal
emerging although the supporters have an experience in theater world but Gandrik
become an estuary of several time, several creativity and several ideas.
“Gandrik” is merely a name. While with name, they invokve of Festival
Pertunjukan Rakyat in National level which is held by Information Department of
Indonesian Republic. Supported by eight people such as Jujuk Prabowo as a director,
Heru Kesawa Murti as script-writer and actor, Novi Budianto as an art director,
Saptaria Handayaningsih, Neneng Suryaningsih, Susilo Nugroho, Sepnu Heryanto,
and mbah Kartono as an actor. It presented “Kesandung” ‘s Fadjar
Suharno dan “Meh”’s heru Kesawa Murti.
The festival was over. Gandrik still continue the process to answer the creativity
which then express through electronic media, TVRI Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and TVRI
Centre Jakarta. The dynamic of development show the spirit in May 1985 when there
is a reconstruction of Gandrik management after Neneng Suryaningsih resigned.
Then, the coming of Butet Kartaredjasa as an actor and the production leader made
him to lead Gandrik until nowadays. G. Djaduk Ferianto involved in music director,
actor, and director. Rulyani Isfihana replaced Neneng’s position. The solid
team-work which has awareness to share and based on family from time to time during
the performance among cities in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
Gandrik Theater oriented in the form of public and traditional theater spread
out around Yogyakarta, the place where they were born and grow. It made with the
touch of modern theater which is flexible in its creative process. Gandrik felt
that the art process from the beginning will not last forever so that they will
always look for and learn in doing this work.
By focusing on actual themes, both something happened in society and something
that will be happened, Gandrik put aside to eliminate the limit between the stage
and the audience. Gandrik reveals to make a knot of the warmth among the audience
and appreciation to the performer without any pretension except art-working. Play
by play and the critical which present by them in the stage with joke and satire.
In other word, the language of Gandrik performance was presenting by satire but
it is not hurt other feeling. It is common to happen in the community culture
of Java society. It seems that this condition become the integral part of Gandrik.
Nowadays, Gandrik theater have performed plays such as: Kesandung, Meh, Pasar
Seret, Pensiunan, Sinden, Isyu, Dhemit, Flu, Kera-Kera, Juragan Abiyoso, Khayangan
Goyang, Buruk Muka cermin Di Jual, Juru Kunci, Flu, Tangis, Upeti, Orde Tabung,
Proyek, Brigade Maling, Mas Tom, Departemen Borok.