With the publication of the HSC results, the battle of university admission tests will soon begin. Now is the time for students to think about the subjects they want to major in. Let us shed light on the prospects of pursuing a degree in the field of performing arts.
Medical science, engineering, business studies, pure science, social science and humanities are popular subjects when it comes to higher education in our country, while creative subjects such as theatre, music, dance, and fine arts are hardly sought after. Owing to family and societal pressures, many students are still apprehensive of choosing such subjects and some are even unaware of the fact that it is possible to earn a degree in these creative subjects from Bangladesh's public universities.
Most of the public universities in Bangladesh offer various degrees on Theatre (or Dramatics). Dhaka University (DU), Jahangirnagar University (JU), Chittagong University (CU), Rajshahi University (RU), Jagannath University (JNU) and Jatiyo Kobi Kazi Nazrul Islam University (JKKNIU) offer undergraduate and graduate degrees on Theatre (or Dramatics). Candidates who pass in B and D units in DU, CU and JNU, C1 unit in JU, A unit in RU, and E unit in JKKNIU in the admission tests have to face practical tests. A student's proficiency in pronunciation, music, dance, rhythm sense, acting and overall interest in the subject is judged by teachers before the final selection.
Besides acting, broadly speaking, the field of theatre covers various forms of performing arts such as, music, dance, yoga, mime, mask-making, make-up, costume, set and light design, prop making, script writing, directing, event management, camera techniques and an array of others. Meanwhile, the theoretical side of theatre studies includes different styles of theatre, Anthropology, Sociology, Psycho-analysis, Marxism, Research-Methodology and much more. Further to this, there are plenty of research opportunities in this field, especially if students can earn scholarships to study abroad. Performing arts graduates can also sit for BCS exams, bank recruitment exams, teacher recruitment exams and other academic and administrative exams. They can join national or international NGOs, private TV channels, advertising and designing firms, production houses and other private organisations as well.
Government colleges now are also looking to add performing arts subjects to their curriculum. So, the pathways for pursuing a creative education are now more prominent than ever.
The writer is a student of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Dhaka University.