Eugene O' Neill's classic staged at Shilpakala
With an aim to construct analytical plays while maintaining the artistic value, Shabdaboli started their journey back in 1978. According to the group, the first studio-theatre in Bangladesh was created by them in 1991. Their sixty-third production, Desire Under The Elms, originally written by Eugene O'Neill in 1924, was staged at the Experimental Theater Hall in Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently. The production is translated by Kabir Chowdhury and directed by Fazlur Rahman Polash.
Despite being written about a century ago, the play embodies components that are very much on par with today's society. The act begins at a farmhouse with a rather exalting commencement, and as it unfolds, it takes the audience through a blend of emotions portraying jealousy, feud, incest, love, sex, hatred and death. Consequently, the director was concerned as to how the audience would react to such a play. He also had a tough time integrating such an array of actions and squeezing a three hour play within a one hour time slot.
The periodical outburst of clapping among the audience after each act, was evident that the performers on stage did justice to the characters they depicted. Along with the ambient lighting, appropriate costumes, convenient set and the euphonious background music, it was indeed an entertaining as well as an awakening play.
A film version of the play was also produced in 1958.