As the last scene of the play, Let Me Out, drew to a close at Selim Al Deen Muktamancha in Jahangirnagar University (JU) on March 1, the whole crowd was left emotional. The play narrates the tale of a determined mother who is in search of her lost son. It conveys an important message about a state's insecurity and horror, as the public fights for justice. When a state's policemen do not fulfill their duties properly, people face horrors of inhumanity. Sometimes, these incidents lead to extrajudicial killings and shattered dreams. The play also shows how the lack of accountability affects the public.
Tarua, a popular theatre troupe, staged Let Me Out at JU, on the opening day of the six-day drama festival, marking the 40th founding anniversary of Jahangirnagar Theatre. Based on true events, the play is written by Runa Kanchon and directed by Bakar Bokul.
It takes place in Los Angeles in 1928. The city's police department has gained notoriety for their gun squad, which is used to murder anyone who dares to stand against them. Even though Let Me Out takes place around a hundred years ago, the story is relevant to modern times. The lack of accountability of the authorities, the extrajudicial murders and the oppression are some of the many important motifs in the play.
The six-day festival is organised under the theme, Kaler Koraghate, Jege Uthuk Droher Lal.
Prof A K A Shahnewaj from the Archeology Department, President, Jahangirnagar Theatre, inaugurated the festival at Selim Al Deen Muktamancha.
"A total of five plays will be staged every evening at the Muktamancha, while there will be single respective productions," said Nurul Islam Saimum, General Secretary, Jahangirnagar Theatre.
The five plays are: Let Me Out (Tarua), The Bet (Jahangirnagar Theatre), Pulsiraat (Prachyanat), Raat Bhore Brishti (Upstage) and Ersha (Prangonemore).
Lyricist and freedom fighter Mohammad Rofiquzzaman and theatre activist Ahmed Kabi will be honoured at the festival.
On the last day (March 6), a reunion also will be held with former and incumbent members of Jahangirnagar Theatre.
Established in 1981, Jahangirnagar Theatre produced around 106 plays, and staged them at least 300 times across the country. The group also received a membership of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation in 1988.