The first Bangladesh International Theatre Festival 2019, organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), ITI Bangladesh Centre and Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, beckons a bright prospect for Bangladeshi theatre. Renowned thespians have their reflections and suggestions regarding the festival.
Ramendu Majumdar, Honorary President, ITI Worldwide, is quite satisfied with organising the festival in the shortest possible time. “A great interest for theatre has been generated through the festival. It is a good sign that Bangladeshi audience has enthusiastically responded to watch the six foreign plays of which Macbeth, Oh My Sweet Land and light puppet shows are wonderful. The presence of Ratan Thiyam in every regard, added a vibrant dimension to this festival,” said Ramendu Majumdar.
“To achieve full professionalism in theatre, we have to introduce ticketed shows, so that everyone can be benifited. As it was a government-initiated programme, we could not do so in this instance. We hope to launch the ticketed systems in the upcoming Dhaka International Theatre Festival,” he added.
Renowned Indian Theatre researcher Anshuman Bhowmick wholeheartedly appreciated the initiative of the government. “Bangladesh government is serious about projecting their culture on global stage. Theatre can be the best tool to take the role of cultural diplomacy in the South and South-East Asia,” he says, “I hope, if the initiative continues, Bangladeshi theatre will lead in this part of the world.” Anshuman believes that Bangladesh can play a significant role in creating a cultural fraternity among the countries of the region.
Renowned thespian and president of ITI Bangladesh, Nasiruddin Yousuff believes that theatre can never attain professionalism without state patronage. “Government should form two or three state repertories, comprising of 60 theatre artistes who will receive government grants, so that they do not have any tension other than theatre,” he said, “Within three years, they will bring 18 new productions on stage and will have continuous theatre tour across Bangladesh and the world.”
“We should decentralise the theatre venues in Jatrabari, Gulshan, Uttara and Mirpur lessening dependency on Shilpakala for the quality auditorium,” he added.
The festival ends today with the Nikolai Zykov Theatre (Russia) staging their production Light Puppet Show at the main auditorium of National Theatre Hall, BSA at 7 pm.
Theatre aficionados will eagerly wait for the next edition of the festival. Organising such kind of festival on a regular basis will generate a positive vibe among the theatre goers. The event will pave the way of artistic, technical and literary exchanges among the theatre artistes. Thus, Bangladeshi theatre will someday attain full professionalism and excel in the global theatre scene.