Set against the backdrop of stagnancy prevailing in the contemporary urban theatre arena in the country, cultural affairs ministry has offered grants to theatre activists for producing theatre productions.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor told New Age that he had already talked with theatre leaders about his proposal for producing more quality plays with the government grants.
‘I told them that the government can help theatre troupes giving grants if they come up with specific proposal’, Noor said.
‘We can give grants of Tk two or three lakhs for producing each of the theatre productions. Number of the plays and selection process could be fixed through discussions with theatre leaders’, the minister said.
Noor said the amount of money that he proposed is enough for producing a theatre production in Bangladesh.
‘Troupes from Dhaka and other district towns can get benefits from such offers’, the minister said.
Theatre activists welcomed the move considering it can help many troupes, which are struggling to survive, across the country.
‘It would be really helpful for troupes if the government bears cost of several theatre productions’, said international theatre institute honourary president Ramendu Majumdar.
Majumdar suggested that the grants should be introduced immediately following the film grants distribution process as done by the information ministry.
‘If the cultural affairs ministry forms a selection panel for providing grants to 10 troupes each year, it will help to make theatre scene vibrant’, Majumdar observed.
ITI Bangladesh Centre president Nasiruddin Yousuff admitted that he got such offer from the cultural affairs minister.
‘I told the minister to provide grants to young theatre directors for inspiring and patronising them. The government can also organise an annual theatre festival with new productions’, Yousuff said.
Both of the theatre activists suggested the ministry to hold meeting with the theatre activists to introduce the government grants immediately.
Besides, several other theatre activists at the same time demanded to the government for introducing professionalism in theatre by providing monthly grants to theatre activists.
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