Dhaka-based troupes premiered 25 plays in 2017 when the number was 24 in the previous year.
Four new troupes emerged through new productions last year and some comparatively new troupes staged premier shows of 13 plays.
Popular troupes Dhaka Theatre, Natyachakra, Padatik Natya Sangsad, Desh Natok, Samay, Nagorik Natyangan and Bottala brought nine new plays on stage in 2017.
Newly formed troupes named Kadamati, Bangladesh Shishu Academy Theatre, Noibedyo and Open Space Theatre emerged through staging of Romeo-Juliet, Abak Jalpan, Bidroho Ebong and 12 Angry Men, respectively. Of these productions, 12 Angry Men, directed and translated by M Arifur Rahman from American screen writer Reginald Rose’s play with the same title, got plaudits.
But, most talked about production of 2017 was Natbangla’s production Rizwan, an adaptation of Urdu language poet Aga Shaheed Ali’s poem A Country without a Post Office by Wrishibesh Bhattacharia, which has been directed by Syed Jamil Ahmed.
Between September 1 and 10, the troupe staged 19 shows of the play at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. All of these shows were houseful.
Other new troupes like Ethic Natyadal, Shabdo Natyacharcha Kendra, Moulik Natyadal, Natyadal, Theatrewala Repertory, Methopath Theatre and Bengal Theatre respectively premiered Chandidas, Champabati, Subachan Nirbashone, Itibritto, The Bear, Atapor Madho and Jalputra.
Popular troupe Dhaka Theatre premiered two plays including Rai Kathokotha and Our Country’s Good. After many years, Natyachakra, Samay and Bangladesh Theatre premiered new plays respectively Mritykhudha, Jajati and Ami.
Kritodasher Hashi, Surgaon and Darao Pathikbar Janmo Jadi Tomar Bange were respectively premiered by Nagorik Natyangan, Desh Natok and Prangonemor.
Padatik Natyasangsad premiered traditional ballad-based Gunjanbibir Pala while Battola staged premiere show of Banyakherium in last year.
In addition, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy produced Bangla version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, translated by Syed Shamsul Haque and directed by Ataur Rahman.
Dhaka University’s theatre and performance art department and Jahangirnagar University’s drama and dramatics department also respectively premiered Banhi Bisrarjan Badwip and Swapnaramonigan.
Among the 11 theatre festivals--the week-long international theatre festival titled ‘Flower and Bliss’, organised by theatre troupe Aranyak Natyadal, held in October; the 10-day Ganga-Jamuna Theatre and Cultural Festival organised in the same month and the week-long theatre festival featuring seven plays on historical figures held in November--earned plaudits.
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