10th National Theatre Camp for Children and Adolescents in full swing

The ongoing 10th National Theatre Camp for Children and Adolescents by Peoples Theatre Association (PTA) is in full swing. The event has been organised in association with Rakhal and is supported by Artaction and SIDA.

“The festival aims at encouraging children’s theatre activities,” said convenor of the event and president of PTA, Liaquat Ali Lucky.

“Some of the most important developments happen during childhood. Surveys show that through theatre a child’s verbal, visual, musical, logical and aesthetic senses can be developed in a more positive way,” said Lucky.

“Across the country we have a total of 210 theatre troupes, associated with PTA, working with children,” he added.

A total of 130 troupes are taking part at the ongoing theatre camp at Central Public Library, Shahbagh, in the city, starting from July 17.

Along with the children’s theatre troupes, 20 regular troupes are also taking part at the camp. The latter will stage plays on July 24 and 25, under the youth theatre camp programme.

Indigenous theatre troupes representing the Santal (Dinajpur and Shetabganj), Orao (Dinajpur), Bonua (Gazipur) and other communities are taking part at the camp. The troupes will stage plays narrating their stories.

“We have also invited several troupes working with underprivileged children as well,” added Lucky.

Theatre troupes comprising underprivileged children from Tejgaon Rail Station, Mohammadpur Geneva Camp, Mirpur Bihari Camp, Mirpur Beribadh area will stage plays at the festival.

Two theatre troupes formed of differently-abled individuals are also expected to stage plays at the festival.

On July 19 (third day of the festival), seven plays — “Shanghar” by Diamond Club, Jessore; “Amar Bangladesh” by Rahman Smriti Theatre, Panchagarh; “Amader Kotha” by Geneva Camp Shishu-Kishore Theatre, Dhaka; “Protikir Kanna” by Oniyomito Shahitya O Shangskritik Gosthi, Munshiganj; “Desh Pardesh” by Banua Shishu-Kishore Theatre, Gazipur; “Bioscope” by Nirman Theatre, Dhaka and “Ora Chhilo Baganey” by Nandan Shishu Natya Dal, Dhaka — were staged.

The play “Desh Pardesh” narrated the story of the Banua Community. The community, now based in Gazipur, were originally from Bihar, India. They were moved from their homes by the British to work on the construction of the railroads. After the railroad construction was complete, they were stuck in Bengal. They settled here and during the Liberation War they fought against the Pakistani army, yet in post-war Bangladesh they often faced discrimination. Through the play, the young actors narrated their stories. The play was directed by Premdas Rabinath.

Another highlight of the day was a play staged by Geneva Shishu-Kishore Theatre, Dhaka. Through the play, young residents of the camp enacted their everyday struggles and misery. The play was directed by Shamim Ahmed Shanto.

“Bioscope,” staged by Nirman Theatre, Dhaka, provided a look into the history of Bengal. British aggression, Khudiram, Partition, Language Movement, the Liberation War and other important chapters of our history were shown in the play through a form of bioscope. The play was directed by Mohammad Jamil Hossain.

Today, seven plays — “Alor Pothey,” “Tuntuni,” “Kado Bangali Kado,” “Rajar Shikkha,” “Garo Jibon,” “Mishar Kirti,” “Ek Bochhor-er Raja” and “Ranga Mulo” — will be staged at the festival.

The festival will continue till July 31.

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