Born on 3 January 1949 in Adderi, Karnataka, Shri Chidambar Rao Jambe is a well-known Kannada theatre director and cultural administrator. An alumni of the National School of Drama (1979-82 batch), he had learnt Yakshagana from Yakshagana Kendra, Udupi in 1977-78. Shri C.R. Jambe has served many institutions in senior positions such as Principal of Ninasam Theatre Institute (1982-2004); Director, Rangayana Theatre Repertory in Mysore (2004-08); Honorary Chairperson, Gubbiveeranna Chair, University of Mysore (2008 and 2009); Honorary Director, Shivakumara Ranga Prayoga Shale, Sanehalli, Karnataka (2008-10); and Camp Director, NSD Bengaluru Chapter (2010-14).
Shri Jambe has contributed to the art of theatre with a holistic approach because of his association with the world of Indian theatre as an artist, academician and an administrator. His concerns regarding children’s theatre has been adequately reflected in the fact that apart from directing over 70 plays with professional, non-professional actors, he has directed more than 50 plays with children. He has trained numerous theatre artists who have taken up theatre as their career and have established themselves in the field. Shri Jambe has directed numerous plays for many institutions including Ninasam Theatre Institute. Some of the plays directed by him are: S. Balurao’s Bekku Baavi (1982), Mohan Rakesh’s Ashadhada Ondu Dina (1983), Aadeh Adhoore (1987), a Kannada translation of Maxim Gorky’s Lower Depths titled Ee Kelaginavaru (1987), Girish Karnad’s Tughluq (1994), Chammarana Chalooki Hendati – a translation of Lorca's play Shoe-maker’s Wonderful Wife (2000), Shakuntale – a Yakshagana production (2001), Loka Shakunthala – an adaptation of Kalidasa’s Abhijnana Shakuntalam (1985), and Hindi translation of P. Lankesh’s Kannada play Gunamukha titled as Ifakath (2015). The children’s plays directed by him include K.V. Subbanna’s Kadinalli Kathe for the schoolchildren of Balila, B.V. Karanth’s Keddayana, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Lava-Kusha, to name a few.
Karnataka Nataka Academy awarded him for his theatre work in 1994, and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi honoured him as the Director of the National Theatre Festival, 2003.
Shri Chidambar Rao Jambe receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2014 for his contribution to Indian theatre as a director.