Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has brought out five productions based on the plays of English poet-playwright William Shakespeare as part of a yearlong initiative to celebrate the anniversaries of his 450th birth and 400th death.
The 30-minute productions were an outcome of a 15-day workshop organised by the academy, which was attended by 85 theatre enthusiasts and conducted by the thespian Ataur Rahman.
The participants were divided into five groups, each tasked with the job of bringing out one production based on one of the five plays – The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Othello, The Tempest, and The Taming of the Shrew.
Two groups staged The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth at the Music and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Sunday, while the remaining groups staged the other three plays at the Studio Theatre Hall on Monday.
The Sunday show was attended by cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor, BSA director general Liaquat Ali Lucky and Ataur Rahman.
The romantic comedy, translated into Bangla by Abdus Selim, was staged first. It was presented in the traditional Jatra style.
Afterwards, Macbeth, based on a translation by the recently demised poet-playwright Syed Shamsul Haq, was staged.
Farhana Mithu, a theatre practitioner who took part in the workshop, said she was really happy to have been part of such a workshop and a Shakespearean production.
‘Before the workshop, I only knew about Shakespeare but didn’t understand him. The workshop has given me an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of his works,’ she added.
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