Considered the father of modern Indian theatre, Ebrahim Alkazi, the first Director of the National School of Drama (NSD) breathed his last in the capital on Tuesday. He was 94.

He was also an art connoisseur, collector, and gallery owner, he founded the Art Heritage Gallery in New Delhi.

This Royal Academy of Dramatics Art (RADA) pass-out staged more than 50 plays throughout his distinguished career and won the BBC Broadcasting Award in 1950.

PM Modi offered condolences by 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.”

Some of the major plays directed by him are “Tuglaq” (Girish Karnad), “Ashadh Ka Ek Din” (Mohan Rakesh), Dharamvir Bharti’s “Andha Yug” besides several Greek tragedies and Shakespeare’s works.

Recipient of the Padma Vibhushan (2010), Padma Bhushan (1991) and Padma Shri (1966) honours, he was known to be a strict disciplinarian who provided a blueprint for theatre training during his years as the Director of NSD (1962-1977).

Associated with training some of the best-known talents in the country, including Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Uttara Baokar, and Rohini Hattangadi, besides a host of major theatre directors in the country, Alkazi was married to Roshan Alkazi, who designed costumes for his plays.

His two children are also theatre artists. Amal Allana is a theatre director and former Chairperson of the National School of Drama while Feisal Alkazi too is a theatre director.