Debashish Ghosh has been associated with the theatre world for decades. Though he started off as a theatre actor, he is now better known as a director with Dhaka Padatik. In a conversation with The Daily Star, he talked about his journey in theatre and more.
How did you make a foray into theatre?
Debashish: In 1982, after my SSC Examinations, I joined a local theatre troupe in Sylhet. I was too young then and it was difficult to get a role but I was wholeheartedly involved. A couple of years later some other theatre enthusiasts and I joined hands to form a troupe called Sondhani Natya Chakra which still exists in Sylhet. When the troupe took wing, we staged many plays.
How did you get involved with Dhaka Padatik?
Debashish: I joined Dhaka Padatik in 1988 when my family shifted to Dhaka. It is a strong platform for theatre enthusiasts, which helped me work with some great theatre personalities including SM Solaiman, Dr. Jamil Ahmed and Khaled Khan. Meanwhile, I strengthened my acting skills through workshops and training programmes.
What led you to become a director?
Debashish: My inspiration was probably working in “Bishad Shindhu” when I realised that I needed to be more focused and move into direction if I wanted to firm my position in theatre. Then I received a scholarship and went to Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata to study theatre. I majored in direction during my post-grad education as I felt my strength lay in my quick wittedness. Studying in Rabindra Bharati enriched my knowledge and opened my eyes.
Tell us about your journey as a director...
Debashish: After coming to in Dhaka in 1998, I started working with Padatik. My first directorial work was a street-play, a genre which was neglected then. Gradually I started working with other troupes including
Mohakal Natya Smapraday, Natyajan and Udichi. However, “Kotha Ekattor”-- a 2005 play on the liberation war--firmed my reputation as a director.
Tell us about your current works...
Debashish: Currently I'm working as a researcher in a project of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy which is developing a website (Art Directory of Bangladesh) combining art and cultural heritage of the country. Recently I directed “Somepur Kathan” an archeological drama of BSA.