A seven-day theatre festival, marking the birthday of veteran theatre personality Ataur Rahman began at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Thursday evening. BSA and Mancha Sarathi Ataur Rahman Karma-Udjapan Parishad are jointly holding the programme.
The festival began with a brief inauguration ceremony where Ataur Rahman, along with Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, prominent writer Syed Shamsul Haque, and noted thespian Dr. Enamul Huq cut a cake to celebrate Rahman's birthday.
Later, Syed Shamsul Haq came on to the dais to inaugurate the festival. He recalled his experiences of working with Ataur Rahman saying, “My creativity in theatre flourished because of Ataur. My experimental works had a new dimension with the touch of his genius.”
Following his speech, theatre personality Ramendu Majumdar gave the welcome speech. He said, “Ataur is equally skilled as an actor, director, organiser and theatre critic. However, I enjoy his company more than anything because of his light-hearted spirit.”
Rights activist Sultana Kamal, once a popular face in theatre, walked down memory lane to talk about her experience of working with Rahman. She recalled playing Rahman's mother in a play the 1970s.
Asaduzzaman Noor said, “Ataur can easily communicate with people. We have spent great times together and are members of the same theatre fraternity. I have worked in a number of plays under Ataur's direction. Even my first role was under his direction.”
Among others, theatre personalities Sara Zaker, Jhuna Chowdhury, Dr Enamul Haque, Lucky Enam and writer Anwara Syed Haque addressed the programme. They remembered their youthful days with Ataur Rahman.
Following the inauguration, Nagorik Natya Sampraday came on stage with Tagore masterpiece “Raktokorobi”. The play is considered one of the classics of world drama. Nagorik Natya Sampradaya has won the heart of audiences both at home and abroad with this production.
Set in a materialistic world called "Joggopuri"(sacrificial ground) the play depicts the lives of people in a lifeless kingdom, which is wealthy but devoid of humanity. Young maiden Nandini comes to the kingdom one day in search of Ranjan, her love. Every man of the kingdom, even the king wants her but she is out of everyone's reach. This turns the emptiness of the human soul into cruelty. However, Nandini brings life to a society bereft of its soul and the play ends on a sacrificial note.
Today, theatre troupe Palakar will stage Syed Shamsul Haque's “Banglar Mati Banglar Jol” at the National Theatre Hall.