Theatre is an aesthetic expression of innate human creativity that revolves around human lives. The performing art imitates society on stage and conveys certain messages. Sometimes it is interactive enough to help the audience identify themselves with the characters and become a part of the action on the stage.
“Yuddh Puran”, an environmental play (a form of theatre where the location imitates the setting of the theatrical story) is different from usual drama. The production of Bangladesh Shilapakala Academy (BSA) was staged on Saturday at the Experimental Theatre Hall.
Centering on the brutal genocide at Mirpur during the Liberation War, “Yuddh Puran” depicted the sheer horror of that mass killing. It created a realistic ambience and transported the audience into that ambience to let them virtually experience the horrendous event. It also broke the boundaries between the characters and the audience bringing them on the same stage.
As the audience entered the stage barefoot and garbed in black-hooded robes, the characters – portraying the martyrs – welcomed them to the site, allegorically Mirpur Jollad Khana. Then they started telling their stories. One story was different from another, but their ending was the same. They told the audience how they were killed by the Pakistan army and their local collaborators. The bold, striking 20-minute-play rendered the audience speechless.
Anisul Haque Barun has crafted the script and directed the play, based on the stories supplied by the Liberation War Museum. BSA took the initiative in an attempt to recall the martyrs and spread their stories among the new generation.
About the play, the director said, “Theatre is also a form of communication and when it involves sound, gestures, sight and touch, it perfectly serves the purpose. I tried to involve all five senses of the audience so that they become a part of it.”
The stage was designed to resemble the killing ground. There were no seating arrangements for the audience, as they walked around the stage. Actors of Shilpakala Academy Repertoire took part in the production.