Theatre troupe Nagarik Natya Sampradaya’s week-long national theatre festival ‘Notuner Utsab 2019’ concluded in the city on Thursday, evoking huge response from audience.
The festival featured seven new plays, each staged for the first time from 29 November to 5 December, every evening at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)’s National Theatre Hall.
A concluding ceremony was arranged at the venue prior to the staging of the closing play ‘Lottery’, directed by Mostafiz Shahin. The play featured visually impaired actors on stage, with actor-director Sara Zaker being the dramaturge.
Country’s renowned thespians joined the ceremony where four legendary theatre activist women- Ferdousi Mazumder, Lucky Enam, Shimul Yousuf and Jyotsna Biswas was awarded and honored for their tremendous contribution in Bangladesh’s theatre activities.
Legendary theatre activists Abul Hayat, Tariq Anam Khan, Professor Abdus Selim and Pantha Shahriar were also present at the ceremony alongside the four mentioned award-winners.
About the festival, Abul Hayat, who attended on behalf of Nagorik Natya Sampradaya’s Chairperson Aly Zaker, said “Nagorik started as the first theatre group in Dhaka which initiated the trend of theatre shows with ticket- for the sake of the survival of theatre artists. These past seven days, seven successful plays were staged with an unimaginable number of crowd who stood in line for tickets. We all are really happy for the support and also glad to honor these four legendary ladies in Bangladesh’s theatre sphere.”
Director Pantha Shahriar who received massive acclaim for his new play ‘Kalo Joler Kabbo’, inspired by William Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ featuring legendary actor Asaduzzaman Noor, told UNB that the response of the crowd in this festival was overwhelming.
“Instead of repeating prominent plays in festivals, Nagorik’s idea was to take an initiative which will promote new plays so that new directors-playwrights-performers can get inspired. We have seen humongous response from the crowd and we thank all our associates specially the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy for supporting the initiative.”
Theatre troupe Nagorik Natya Sampradaya arranged the week-long drama festival in collaboration with cultural affairs ministry where Nagorik Natya Sampradaya, Sunamgonj Proscenium O Bandhan Theatre, Nagarik Natyangan Bangladesh, Porishor, Prachyanat, Monipur Theatre and Mangaldeep Foundation staged their plays.
A jury board consisting of Tariq Anam Khan, Professor Abdus Selim and senior members of Nagorik Natya Sampradaya selected the staged plays.
The festival commenced on 29 November with state minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. Honorary president of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) Ramendu Majumdar, renowned thespian Mamunur Rashid, thespian-filmmaker Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky were also present at the inauguration as special guests.
Convener of the festival and Nagorik Natya Sampradaya vice president Sara Zaker delivered the welcome speech at the programme, which was then presided over by thespian Ataur Rahman.
On the first day, the play Kalo Joler Kabbo, directed by Pantho Shahriar was staged. It is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, casting Asaduzzaman Noor as Bhangari- a role which was inspired from the infamous character, Shylock.
This was followed by Shamim Shagor’s Radharomon on the second day. The third day showcased Akasey Phuitechhey Phul - Letokahon, directed by Dr Roton Siddique and Hridi Huq. An adaptation of Tagore’s Aruproton, directed by Saidur Rahman Lipon, was staged on the fourth day. Kazi Toufiqul Islam Emon’s Khwabnama, inspired by Akhteruzzaman Elias’s novel of the same name, was presented on the fifth day. O Mon Pahia, scripted and directed by Shubasish Sinha, was staged on the sixth day and Mangaldeep Foundation’s play Lottery, directed by Mostafiz Shahin was staged as the concluding play on Thursday.
The organizers informed UNB that the festival will return next year with even bigger arrangement and festivities.