As the sky slowly cleared after the pouring rain, there was an unusual sight at the premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Children of all ages flocked together, as the curtains to the 14th Jatiyo Shishu Kishor Nattya O Shangskritik Utshab (National Children’s Drama and Cultural Festival) was raised. The 9-day long festival will be held from September 20 to September 28, at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The festival is arranged by People’s Theater Association (PTA), in conjunction with BSA. It will simultaneously take place at the National Theatre Hall, Experimental Theatre Hall, Studio Theatre Hall, National Music and Dance auditorium and the Mukta Prangan of BSA.
The festival features performances from children’s theatre organisations and cultural performance groups around the country. 94 theatrical performances of different children theatre groups will be present.
Renowned artist Mustafa Monwar, who was also one of the special guests, inaugurated the event.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader was the chief guest at the opening ceremony, alongside K M Khalid, State Minister of Cultural Affairs. Kamal Bayazid, the General Secretary of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, was also present.
The festival features music, dance, recitation, drawings, acrobatic shows, the Historic speech of 7th March - all performed by children. Performances by differently abled children will also be a feature of this event. Every day, child artistes from different districts will perform in 8 venues, across the BSA premise.
“We pledge to create a child friendly society, where no child will ever be abused. That is the motto of our movement,” said Liaquat Ali Lucky,Director General of BSA, “We are working to spread the practice of art to the most remote parts of our country.”
Mustafa Monwar urged parents to not burden their children with academic pressure, and encouraged them to give them the freedom to explore their passion.
Around 400 child artistes were awarded with Moncho Kuri, Moncho Mukul and Moncho Shena award. A special award will be given to differently abled children.
10,000 child artistes from 64 districts are participating in the festival, which will conclude on September 28.