Born on 2 February 1939 in the village of Wadod Chatha in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, Shri Kamlakar Sontakke is a well-known director and actor in the Hindi and Marathi theatre. He is also known as an arts administrator. He holds a Master’s degree in Hindi from the Dr Babasaheb Marathwada University, Aurangabad, and was trained in theatre at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, where he took his diploma in 1966. His teachers at NSD were eminent figures in theatre such as Ebrahim Alkazi, Nemichandra Jain, Sheila Bhatia, Goverdhan Panchal, and Panchanan Pathak. Shri Sontakke taught speech, acting and production at the School from 1966 to 1968. Subsequently, he established the department of theatre at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, and headed the department from 1972 to 1978. In later years, he has served as Director of the South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur (1986-1991), and has headed the Nehru Centre in Mumbai (1992-1999).
Shri Sontakke has directed over forty plays in Hindi, Marathi, English, and Gujarati . He has acted in more than twenty plays. He has translated a number of classic and contemporary plays in various languages into Hindi, such as Visakhadatta's Mudraraksa, Bhasa's Madhayam Vyayoga, Tendulkar's Khamosh! Adalat Chalu Ahe, C.T. Khanolkar 's Ek: Shoonya Bajirao, G. Sankara PilIai's Sharashavan, Madhukar Toradmal's Krishan Dweep, and Mahesh Elkunchwar 's Sultan. He has written on theatre in Hindi an d Marathi periodicals and has presented papers at seminars on the performing arts. Shri Sontakke has been actively involved in organizing major festivals of arts such as the Apna Utsav in Delhi (1986) and Mumbai (1989). He has also been associated with international event s organized by the Government of India in France, Mauritius, Japan and the United Kingdom. He is an advisor to several institutions in planning and building theatres and arts complexes.
For his services to theatre, Shri Sontakke has been conferred the Kala Gaurav Puraskar (2003) of the Government of Maharashtra.
Shri Kamlakar Sontakke receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Indian theatre as a director.