Patho Natok Utsab '08 inaugurated
A weeklong Patho Natok Utsab (street theatre festival) '08 was inaugurated on March 1 at the Central Shaheed Minar premises. To mark the month of 'Freedom', Bangladesh Patha Natak Parishad (BPNP) has been organising the festival on the first week of March for the last 15 years.
Theatre troupes from all over the country including the Dhaka based ones such as Aranyak Natyadal, Subachan Natya Sangsad, Theatre Art Unit, Prachyanat and Dhaka Padatik (TSC) will stage their street theatre productions at the festival. A total of 49 productions will be staged of which 17 plays are new.
Eminent cultural personality Asaduzzaman Noor inaugurated the festival. Eminent economist Anu Muhammad, General Secretary of Shammilito Sanskritik Jote Golam Kuddus and Chairman of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation M. Hamid were the discussants at the programme. General Secretary of BPNP Mizanur Rahman delivered the welcome speech. The inauguration ceremony was chaired by Mannan Heera, the president of BPNP.
Assistant General Secretary of BPNP Ahmed Gias read the declaration of the festival. According to the declaration, street theatre is the reflection of the socio-cultural milieu of the country. It further adds that the theatre activists of the country have been protesting against all forms of social injustice through the street theatre performances. The declaration also focuses on a few of the flaws of the current government.
The discussants at the programme criticised the ongoing socio-political turmoil and recommended staging more street plays featuring issues such as good governance, democracy and the trial of the war criminals. Moreover, they criticised the authorities for creating hurdles to arranging the street theatre festival.
The inauguration programme was followed by staging plays. Bibartan Shanskritik Kendra, Shanchalok Natya Charcha Kendra from Munshiganj, Abayab Natya Dal, Opera Natoker Dal and Padatik Natya Sangsad (TSC) staged King's Bhabon, Atanko, Uttori, Koibolya and Shompritir Shondhaney respectively at the opening day.
The leitmotif of these plays was to generate public awareness on the rise of fundamentalism, trial of war criminals, national unity and others.