The cultural scenario in Bangladesh, particularly theatre was vibrant in the year. With an overwhelming number of plays and festivals, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) was abuzz throughout 2015.
The first major event was the 2nd Dhaka International Theatre Festival. Organised jointly by International Theatre Institute, Bangladesh and BSA, the 10-day festival hosted five international troupes from India, China and England alongside leading local troupes. However, the Dhaka audience must wait two years for the return of the biennial event.
Leading troupe Nagarik Natyangan celebrated its 20th anniversary in May. With the theme “Chitto Amar Bhoyshunno, Uccho Amar Sheer”, Nagarik's international theatre festival saw staging of eight productions by seven troupes from Bangladesh and India.
In July, theatre-goers in Dhaka witnessed something special, as William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre travelled to Bangladesh as part of their world tour. Globe's “Hamlet” spellbound the Dhaka audience with its ingenuity. The joy of watching Globe Theatre in our own Shilpakala Academy is something theatre aficionados will cherish for a long time.
BSA arranged a mega-scale theatre festival featuring literature-based plays by repertory troupes from all 64 districts in August. The event was a major leap forward in giving theatre an organised shape in all districts of Bangladesh.
Another vibrant event was the Ganga-Jamuna Theatre and Cultural Festival. The nine-day festival is the biggest theatre festival jointly arranged by Bangladesh and India.At the September event, celebrated Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee came to Dhaka with his play “Chhariganga”.
In October, theatre troupe Batighar hosted 'Batighar Natya Mela 2015' at BSA. Throughout the four days, the festival attracted a good number of people with acclaimed theatrical productions like “Dewan Gazir Kissa”, which reunited theatre legends Abul Hayat, AlyZaker and Sara Zaker on stage.
The first edition of International Indigenous Theatre Festival was a major event in the theatre calendar. For the first time, such an event was arranged on a large scale, featuring16 indigenous troupes from Bangladesh and the eastern part of India. Troupes from Chakma, Marma, Manipuri, Tripura, Santal, Garo and Orao communities displayed their culture to Dhaka'ites, and they also got to see plays from the Indian states of Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Jharkhand. Moreover, there were cultural programmes at the open premises of Shilpakala every evening throughout the eight November evenings.
Theatre and Performance Studies Department of Dhaka University hosted a weeklong annual DU Central Theatre Festival at TSC in December. All plays staged at the festival were directed and enacted by students of the department.
Leading troupe Theatre celebrated its 44th anniversary through Theatre Week-2015. The festival featured several classic plays by the troupe, and an award giving ceremony.