National Children’s Theatre and Cultural Festival

A much needed platform for children

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Sep 27,2019


Child artistes perform at National Children’s Theatre. — Sourav Lasker

National Children’s Theatre and Cultural Festival under way at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy gives children the much needed platform for showcasing their talent in cultural activities.

The fourteenth edition of the festival, which commenced on September 20, is featuring plays, dance performances, recitations, painting exhibitions, acrobatic shows, film screenings, workshops on films, puppet shows and more.

The nine-day festival has been jointly organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and People’s Theatre Association where a total of 85 troupes of child artistes from across the country are participating.

Plays are being staged at different venues including National Theatre Hall, Experimental Theatre Hall, Studio Theatre Hall, Music and Dance Centre, National Art Gallery and others of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy every day.

This correspondent visited a number of venues and talked to the organisers, participating troupes and audience to find out about the success of the on-going event.

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky said, ‘Our aim is to enlighten children so that they can grow up as creative human beings and are able to overcome all the challenges of 21st century across the globe.’

‘Today’s children are the future leaders of the nation. If we want to create a positive environment for children, we will have to work from the grassroots. The government, administration, lawmakers, eminent personalities and others should work together for the welfare of the children,’ added Lucky.

When asked about the outcome of the festival, Lucky replied, ‘More than 10,000 participants from across the country are participating in the on-going festival. This is indeed a positive sign. We have conferred Manchakuri Padak to 350 children at the festival and also composed an inspirational song for them.’

‘We have been organising school theatres, classroom theatres, theatre workshops, divisional festivals and others. As Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has jointly organised the nine-day festival, we have already instructed all cultural officers of district branches of Shilpakala Academy to continue working with local child artistes even after the event. It is not an easy task to work with children. We are not only providing them with the cultural platform but also helping them to grow as ideal human beings,’ said Lucky.

‘We have started training programmes that will be conducted by the academy’s training department in all upazilas. I believe that we will be able to spread the cultural practices among children not only in upazilas but also in the villages of our country. We dream of bringing all the children together under our network. I hope our children will hold their heads high on global platforms while representing Bangladesh,’ Lucky concluded.

When contacted, Brahmanbaria Shilpakala Academy troupe leader Puja Dev Roy said, ‘This is the first time that the children of Brahmanbaria are participating in the festival. Though they are very young, they are performing in a big platform. It is the participation that is important for us because here they can communicate with other troupes from across the country which will be a great learning experience for them. I hope that they will make us proud in the near future.’

When contacted, Manikganj Shilpakala Academy troupe leader Saif Sujon said, ‘We have been participating in the festival every year since 2012. Now-a-days more and more children are showing interest to participate in the event. This has indeed been a positive sign for us.’

When contacted, Rangpur Natya Kendra troupe leader, Md Lavlu, said, ‘Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has been providing the participating troupes with all expenses regarding food, lodging and transportation. Many children from Rangpur have received Manchakuri Padak. They are very excited and happy because popular actor Ferdous Ahmed conferred the awards to them. After returning home, they will share experiences of the event with the friends. This will also encourage them to participate in all cultural activities.’

‘The festival is offering a good platform to the children. We need to organise such festivals in all districts and upazilas. This will help them to grow up as open minded citizens,’ Piku Chowdhury, an audience member, told New Age.

The festival will end tomorrow.

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