From left: Discussants at the event; Theatre enthusiasts at the campfire; Actors of Opera Natoker Dal at the programme. Photo: Mumit M.
Theatre enthusiasts gathered at the National Theatre Stage on September 19, Shilpakala Academy, on September 19 to celebrate the daylong Rangamaton Solaiman Mela organised by Theatrewala, a little magazine on theatre.
This is for the second consecutive time the mela has been organised to encourage the theatre enthusiasts of the country. This year's arrangement was more elaborate in terms of number of programmes and participants.
On the arrangement of the 'Rangamaton Solaiman Mela', coordinator of the mela committee Hasan Shariar, who is also the editor of Theatrewala, said, “His rebellious nature S.M. Solaiman is our inspiration and symbol of youth. The mela is not a kind of display of Solaiman's works. Rather, it's a gathering of talents who are contributing to taking Bangladeshi theatre ahead."
The National Theatre Stage premises were decorated with theatre posters, installation, banners and festoons. In the morning, convenor of the mela committee Faiz Zahir inaugurated the programme, which was followed by a presentation of Gambhira performed by Parimal Majumder and his troupe.
Dances and songs presented by the young theatre activists were a special treat of the day. Though it was a gathering of the young, theatre personalities such as Ataur Rahman, Mamunur Rashid and Nasiruiddin Yousuff were present as well.
Moreover, 12 theatre troupes--Aranyak Natya Dal, Udichi, Shubachan Natya Sangsad, Prachyanat, Theatre Art Unit, Nagarrik Natyangan, Centre for Asian Theatre , Palakar, Natyadhara, Swapno Dal, Oikik Theatre and Opera Natoke Dla-- displayed live performances, video installation and photographs at twelve pavilions, which were named in the memory of late theatre personalities of the country such as AKM Bazlul Karim, Moksud-us-Saleheen, Nurul Momen, Anis Chowdhury, Shaheed Munier Chowdhury, Mohammad Zakaria, Zia Hyder, Selim Al Deen, Abdullah Al Mamun, Syed Waliullah, Nazma Anwar and Bangajeet Dutta.
Other attractions of the day were campfire, discussions and screening of a documentary on Selim Al Deen titled Ei Je Ami, directed by Esha Yousuf.
The programme ended with an eight-point declaration highlighting such issues as the proper use of theatre halls at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, stopping the nuisance by the outsiders at the Chinese restaurant and Coffee House of the academy, trial of the war criminals and others.
Even during the mela celebration, some outsiders claiming to be influential locals created problems for the organisers of Rangamaton Solaiman Mela. Noted actor-director Azad Abul Kalam, one the members of the mela committee, said, "Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy is our national property. But over the years we have seen that notorious people gather at the Coffee House of the academy and create disturbances. We want immediate action against it.”