Theatre fest marking Ataur Rahman's birthday
Mancha Sarathi Ataur Rahman Karma-Udjapan Parishad and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) are jointly organising a seven-day theatre festival at BSA to celebrate the 73rd birthday of prominent theatre personality Ataur Rahman.
The festival which kicks off today, features six plays: “Roktokorobi”, “Rudro Robi O Jallianwala Bagh”, “Banglar Mati Banglar Jol”, “Waiting for Godot”, “Opekkhoman”, and “Narigon”. Rahman has directed all the plays. On the closing day of the festival, the thespian will appear on stage with a collage of the roles he played in different productions.
Rahman, a devoted actor and successful director, is the founder general secretary of Nagorik Natya Sampradaya. He is also one of the pioneers of the theatre movement that took off after the Liberation War. The former chairman of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation has made an immense contribution to giving an organised form to the country's theatre scenario.
Over the years, he has appeared in many plays and successfully directed many others. As a director he brought innovations to the stage, and as an actor he enchanted the audience with his powerful presence. His USP as a director lies in his comprehension of Tagore. With his unique direction, he took Tagore adaptations to a new dimension. He is the man behind “Roktokorobi”, one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Tagore adaptations.
His direction of Syed Shamsul Haq's plays enriched Bangla theatre. About his experience of working with Rahman, Syed Huq said, “He is my creative partner and that says a lot. I wrote a play while he gave it a theatrical shape; that is how a production was made. This partnership worked smoothly in every production. He skilfully directed some of my most difficult plays. This immensely talented director has faith in me. On his birthday, I wish him good luck. Still a long way to go and I want to continue to work with him.”
Born in Noakhali in 1941, Rahman is an inspiration for many young theatre activists. He completed his Masters in Soil Science from Dhaka University in 1965.
He has directed over 30 plays for his troupe and for other troupes and organisations as well. Some of his notable works include “Roktokorobi”, “Banglar Mati Banglar Jol”, “Narigon”, “Irsha”, “Opekkhoman”, and “Waiting for Godot”. The illustrious theatre personality has received a number of prestigious awards, including Shaheed Munier Chowdhury Award and Ekushey Padak.