A new wave of theatre in Dhaka | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 21, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 21, 2019

A new wave of theatre in Dhaka

One weeknight this past September, I pushed through traffic to the other end of the city for a cultural experience. An Agatha Christie play was being staged in my city – an event I couldn’t miss.

Sitting there in the packed auditorium, the entire crowd laughed and clapped at the right moments, Open Space Theatre having done a fabulous job of bringing to life one of Christie’s best works.

Chief organiser Mahjabeen Chowdhury and director M. Arifur Rahman co-founded Open Space Theatre in 2017 with the aim of bringing back the popularity of theatre to the youth of our country.

Mahjabeen says, “We want to make theatre profitable enough, so that the actors and backstage crew can think of it as an actual profession instead of just a hobby.”

So far the group has staged multiple productions of 12 Angry Men and And Then There Were None. Actor Faisul Sunny loves his experience so far, “The way the director guides us, really works for me. The whole process is a lot of fun.”

Actor Johayer Khan says, “I got to learn a lot here. Now, wherever I go, I can see that what I have learned here can be applied elsewhere and what I learn from elsewhere can be applied in acting.”

Mahjabeen further explains, “When we have a show coming up, we rehearse almost every day. When there are no shows, we try to organise free acting workshops once a week. When we have nothing going on, we get time to prepare for a new production. There are no holidays really.”

“We are planning on some new productions for 2020. The scripts are not finalised yet. As always, we select scripts that can be enjoyed by all demographic groups. We like to try out a new genre of theatre with each of our productions so that our actors are challenged and develop diverse skills. Our audience can call us and ask for regular text updates about all our shows. We also organise various workshops and auditions regularly. Currently, we are accepting participants for a month-long workshop in January 2020 focused on speech, folk songs and choreography in theatre,” she mentions.

Open Space Theatre regularly recruits new actors both through monthly auditions and through workshops before a new production. One can contact them by calling 01765576981, or messaging them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/openspacethea8re to participate. Their actors can also get involved in other departments like light, sound, music, set, costume, etc.

 

Mrittika Anan Rahman is a daydreamer trying hard not to run into things while walking. Find her at mrittika.anan@gmail.com

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