A twenty-day theatre festival marking the International Mother Language Day began on Saturday at the open stage of Suhrawardy Udyan adjacent to the Bangla Academy.
Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, in association with cultural affairs ministry and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, has organised the festival titled ‘Ekushey Natyotsab’ as an ancillary event of the ongoing Ekushey Book Fair.
Eminent thespians Nasiruddin Yousuff, Ataur Rahman and Lucky Enam inaugurated the fifth edition of the festival, in presence of secretary general of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation Kamal Bayezid.
BGTF chairman Liaquat Ali Lucky, also director general of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, presided over the inauguration ceremony.
The opening day of the festival featured discussion, theatre show and a book launch.
Liaquat Ali Lucky’s book on local theatre titled ‘Bangladesh-er Shatobarshi Natyamancha’, introducing 33 halls and stages, which have been active across the country for at least a hundred years as centre of theatre practices, was launched at the programme.
Stages and halls like Cumilla Town Hall, Kushtia Parimal Theatre, Khulna Natya Niketan, Gazipur Bhawal Rajbari Natmandap, Dinajpur Natya Samity, Ashwini Kumar Town Hall Barishal, Bogura Edward Dramatic Mancha, Lahita Mohan Mitra Natyamancha Rajshahi and others have been introduced in the book with notes on their contributions to theatre in the region.
Following the book launch, artistes from different theatre troupes presented a colourful choregraphy synchronised with patriotic and language movement songs.
Theatre (Arambagh) then staged Nikhai as the opening play at the festival. Written and directed by Gazi Rakayet, the play unravels a man’s romantic past.
The festival will feature theatre shows, music, dance, recitation, mime and others to entertain the visitors in the coming days.
‘We have invited both renowned and new troupes to perform at the festival. Moreover, we have requested them to stage productions highlighting the country’s culture and the spirit of the language movement,’ said Kamal Bayezid, secretary general of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation.
Renowned theatre troupes like Dhaka Theatre, Aranyak Natyadal, Nagarik Natyangan, Prachyanat, Natyachakra, Pranganemor, Theatre Art Unit, Bangladesh Theatre, Dhaka Padatik, Mohakal Natya Sampraday and others will participate in the festival which will run till February 28.
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