The 69th anniversary of birth of late legendary dramatist and theoretician Selim Al Deen will be celebrated today.
Different organisations have arranged special programmes to celebrate Al Deen’s birthday.
Drama and dramatics department of Jahangirnagar University has organised a three-day festival featuring Al Deen’s plays on JU campus. Al Deen was a professor of the department. The festival, which began on August 16, will end today.
Theatre troupe Swapnadal has organised a two-day festival titled ‘Natyacharia Selim Al Deen Janmautsab-2018’ featuring discussion and plays penned by Al Deen at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The festival will end today.
Dhaka Theatre has organised a two-day festival. On Friday, the theatre troupe organised Selim Al Deen Memorial Lecture at Seminar Room of BSA and staged the play Dhaboman at National Theatre Hall. Members of the troupe will place wreaths at Al Deen’s tomb on JU campus today.
Selim Al Deen pioneered neo-theatre movement in Bangladesh. He developed a new drama form based on the narratives of traditional indigenous theatre. The playwright developed his unique style. The structure of his plays is innovative, his narratives are lyrical and nature appears spontaneously in 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, and he served as its founder chairman, in 1986.
Al Deen was a founder member of Dhaka Theatre. He was also the chief adviser of Bangladesh Gram Theatre, which he founded along with Nasiruddin Yousuff in 1981-82.
Selim Al Deen began searching for the roots of Bangla theatre in the early 1980s. 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 began his research to trace the origin of Bangla theatre and developed his own style of writing plays based on the (thousands of years old) traditional performing art forms. Shakuntala, Kittonkhola, Keramat Mongol, Hat Hadai, Chaka, Joiboti Koinnar Mon, Horgoj, Bonopangshul, Nimojjon and many other plays by Al Deen are remarkable examples of the narrative style he popularised. His play Horgoj has been translated in the Swedish language.
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 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 are included in the curricula of the University of Dhaka, Jahangirnagar University, Jadavpur University and Rabindra Bharati University in India.
He received several awards including Ekushey Padak in 2007, Bangla Academy Award in 1984, Best Tele-playwright Award in 1994 and National Film Award for Best Dialogue in 1994.
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