The 10th anniversary of death of iconic playwright Selim Al Deen will be observed today.
Al Deen, also known as Natyacharya, will be remembered by his students at Jahangirnagar University and theatre activists across the country.
Theatre activists and students will place flower wreaths on the grave of the playwright at Jahangirnagar University, where he taught until his death, in the morning.
Two commemorative theatre festivals are also being held marking the death anniversary of Al Deen.
Bangladesh Gram Theatre and Dhaka Theatre have jointly organised a three-day festival which began on Friday with a seminar. On Saturday Dhaka Theatre staged Deen’s famous play Nimajjan at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The festival will end today with a show of Al Deen’s play Dhaboman by Dhaka Theatre at Bangla Academy.
Swapnadal has organised a two-day commemorative festival at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The festival commenced on Saturday with a solo lecture by Dr Afsar Ahmed on life and works of Al Deen. In the evening Swapnadal staged a show of monodrama Helen Keller at Studio Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The festival will end today with a show of Al Deen’s play Hargaj by Swapnadal.
Selim Al-Deen (1949-2008) was a pioneer of neo-theatre movement in Bangladesh, a theoretician and a professor at the department of drama and dramatics at Jahangirnagar University. He is credited with developing a ‘new drama form’ based on the narrative style of traditional performing arts.
He negated the conventional concept of theatre, calling it ‘western-influenced,’ and initiated the development of a different theatre form based on local tradition.
He also successfully implemented his theory in all of his 18 plays including Shakuntala, Kittonkhola, Keramat Mongol, Hat Hadai, Chaka, Joiboti Koinnar Mon, Hargaj, Bonopangshul, Nimojjon and Dhaboman.
Selim Al Deen was also a radio play, teleplay and screenplay writer. And two films – Chaka and Kittankhola – were made based on his plays.
In 1974, Al Deen joined as a lecturer at the Bangla department of Jahangirnagar University. The drama and dramatics department was opened under his guidance in 1986. He also served as the founder chairman of the department.
In 1995, Al Deen completed his PhD from Jahangirnagar University on Medieval Bangla Drama. He also compiled Bangla Natyakosh — the only anthology of Bangla drama-related terms and forms of traditional theatre.
Al Deen’s plays have been included in the curricula of the University of Dhaka, Jahangirnagar University, Jadavpur University and Rabindra Bharati University in India.
He received several awards including Best Tele-playwright Award in 1994, National Film Award for Best Dialogue in 1994, Bangla Academy Award in 1984 and Ekushey Padak in 2007.
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