Theatre troupe Dhaka Padatik celebrated its 40th founding anniversary organising a two-day festival at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Thespian Asaduzzaman Noor inaugurated the festival on Thursday as chief guest at the lobby of the Experimental Theatre Hall.
State minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid, Sammilita Sangskritik Jote president Ghulam Quddus, secretary general of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation Kamal Bayezid, director and actor Nader Chowdhury, managing director of United Commercial Bank Limited MD Shawkat Jamil and others were present at the inaugural ceremony, presided over by the president of Dhaka Padatik Mizanur Rahman.
Following the inaugural ceremony, a discussion was held at the hall.
‘The theatre arena of Bangladesh was going through a critical time. However, the scenario is gradually improving. Many new theatre troupes have emerged. They are enriching the theatre scene with their creations,’ said Asaduzzaman Noor.
‘Besides Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Bangladesh Mahila Samity, plays should be staged at other venues. Locality-based theatre practices can play an important role in creating new audience,’ he added.
Dhaka Padatik honoured thespian M Hamid with Abul Kashem Dulal Smriti Padak and theatre activist Asma Akhtar Liza with Gazi Jakir Hossain Smriti Padak at the programme.
‘The theatre scene has had many ups and downs. There was a time when we had to take permission from the police for staging plays. Those days are behind us now. Theatre in the country flourished after the liberation war. I am deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award,’ said M Hamid.
Asma Akhtar Liza shared her theatrical journey and thanked Dhaka Padatik for honouring her.
‘Theatre is an integral part of my life. I started my theatrical journey at the age of 14 so the theatre arena is family to me. I feel blessed to receive this honour from my family,’ she said.
Following the discussion, Dhaka Padatik staged its liberation war-based play ‘Katha 71’ at the same venue.
The play has been written by Kumar Pritish Bal and directed by Debashish Ghosh.
It revolves around a freedom fighter and his son. The freedom fighter realises that his son has been brainwashed by Razakars.
He decides to have a chat with his son. As the play moves forward the audience gets a glimpse into the tumultuous days of 1971, plight of refugees, sacrifices of freedom fighters and genocides committed by Pakistani occupation forces.
Dhaka Padatik staged its 38th production ‘Trial of Surya Sen’ at the Experimental Theatre Hall on the closing day of the festival on Friday. The play has been written and directed by Masum Aziz.
The play brings to light India’s history during the British colonial period. It depicts the trial of revolutionary Masterda Surya Sen, who is noted for leading the 1930 Chittagong armoury raid in Chittagong during the British rule.
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