Bangladesh Betar has taken an initiative to broadcast live theatre shows.
Theatre troupes will stage their acclaimed productions at Bangladesh Betar auditorium in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in front of a live audience and Bangladesh Betar will broadcast the plays live for its listeners across the country.
As a test case, all stations of Bangladesh Betar aired Aranyak Natyadal’s acclaimed play Bhangabanga, directed by Faiz Zahir, on April 30. The troupe staged the play at Bangladesh Betar auditorium in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar to the delight of a hall-full audience.
‘We plan to air one theatre show every other month initially. However, if listeners demand for more shows, we will broadcast one show per month,’ said Syed Mostafa Kamal, regional director of Dhaka station of Bangladesh Betar.
‘Aranyak Natyadal staged Bhangabanga at Bangadesh Betar auditorium in front of guests and officials of Bangladesh Betar. The troupe was paid Tk 13,000 as per our payment structure,’ said Kamal.
‘We are selecting a few more plays, which we will air as radio dramas,’ he added.
Thespian Mamunur Rashid, who acted in Bhangabanaga, said, ‘I welcome the initiative taken by Bangladesh Betar. I hope Betar would continue airing theatre shows to promote theatre across the country.’
Bhangabanga director Faiz Zahir said, ‘It was an interesting experience to present a theatre production as an audio play. We had to rehearse for three days and change the script slightly to turn the play into an audio play.’
‘It is quite possible to perform stage plays as audio plays but the director has to change the play, if necessary, to turn it into audio play,’ Zahir added.
A number of theatre activists, however, gave a mixed response to Bangladesh Betar airing theatre productions as audio plays.
‘Stage plays and audio plays are completely different. I do not think theatre shows, which require performance of actors, costumes, light and set, can be turned into audio plays, which are presented through sound alone,’ said seasoned theatre actor Tariq Anam Khan.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Theatre