A tribute to the theatre personality | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 30, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 30, 2007

Rangamaton Solaiman Mela

A tribute to the theatre personality

Theatre enthusiasts gather at a pavilion at the National Theatre Stage, Shilpakala Academy to pay homage to S.M. Solaiman, A portrait of S.M. Solaiman (Inset)Photo: STAR

It was a huge gathering of young theatre enthusiasts at the National Theatre Stage, Shilpakala Academy on September 28. All day long, through staging plays, music and dance they paid homage to S.M. Solaiman, a multifaceted theatre personality at the 'Rangamaton Solaiman Mela'. To celebrate the sixth death anniversary of Solaiman the programme was organised by Theatrewala, a monthly magazine on theatre.
S.M. Solaiman was a noted playwright, director, actor, music composer, singer and an organiser. Moreover, he was a trendsetter, who had re-introduced 'music' as an important device in the neo-theatre movement in Bangladesh. His plays (30 in number) have the potential to generate political consciousness among the middle class.
Solaiman's concern for fellow theatre activists as well as his dedication for the art form made him a leader. He was the founder of several theatre troupes in the country such as Kalantar, Padatik Natya Sangsad, Dhaka Padatik, Anyadal and Theatre Art Unit. Moreover, he formed a theatre troupe in USA named Bangladesh Theatre of America, which staged shows at the Off-Broadway theatres. Amina Shundori, written and directed by Solaiman, is the first Bangla play staged in the US. He was the General Secretary of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation as well as the convening member of Shammilito Sanskritik Jote.
Convenor of the 'Rangamaton Solaiman Mela', Azad Abul Kalam said, “For his rebellious nature S.M. Solaiman is our inspiration. We need figures like Solaiman to take the art form ahead when everyone around is losing passion for theatre and interpreting the society from a materialistic point of view. It's not a mere gathering of young talents, rather an arrangement to boost their creativity. In future we hope to include more colourful events based on his works at the 'Solaiman Mela'.”
Commenting on the zeal of the participants at the programme, Editor of Theatrewala and also the coordinator of 'Rangamaton Solaiman Mela', Hasan Shahriar said, “It's not like a regular commemoration programme. Theatre troupes through their innovative ideas are paying homage to Solaiman's contributions and presenting 'Natoker Gaan' as well as selected parts of plays written and directed by Solaiman.”
Aranyak Natya Dal, Padatik Natya Sangsad (TSC), Udichi, Shubachan Natya Sangsad, Prachyanat, Theatre Art Unit, Palakar, Mahakal Natya Sampradaya, Oikik Theatre and Prangone Mor presented drama, dance, music and installation at the programme. Moreover, a documentary on S. M. Solaiman titled Khyapa, jointly directed by Manirul Ahsan and Abu Sufian, was screened. The programme ended with the staging of Golapjaan, written and directed by Solaiman. Rokeya Rafiq Baby, Solaiman's widow, performs the title character in the play.
Baby said, “I can sense Solaiman's passion for theatre shared by the enthusiastic participants. He remains alive through his works.”

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