Mirpur Festival 2009 at BSA
“Kusum Upakhyan” staged
After a blood stained, nine-month war against the Pakistani military, Bangladesh achieved independence on December 16, 1971. But, Mirpur, an important area of the capital, needed another month to be freed from the clutches of the collaborators of the Pakistani army. Mirpur remained captivated until January 31, 1972, with the non-Bengalis slaying many living in the area.
Shattwik Natya Shampraday, a Mirpur-based theatre troupe has been observing The Mirpur Free Day with a five-day programme since 2001. This year’s celebration, titled “Walton Mirpur Festival 2009” began at the Studio Theatre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on March 19. The festival includes staging of five plays by theatre troupes and seminars.
Nasiruddin Yousuff, president of Shammilito Shangskritik Jote (SSJ) inaugurated the festival. Golam Kuddus, general secretary of SSJ; Liaquat Ali Lucky, presidium member, Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF); Jhuna Chowdhury, secretary general of BGTF; Mizanur Rahman, general secretary of Bangladesh Patho Natak Parishad and others were also present at the event.
“We fought for a country free of social injustice and violence. But the politics of our country has deviated from that goal often. Our cultural activists continue playing significant roles in crucial moments of our history. Shattwik’s arrangement validates this claim,” Nasiruddin Yousuff said in his inaugural speech.
Speakers demanded opening an auditorium for cultural practices in Mirpur. Mirpur Town Hall auditorium was demolished, creating an impediment to holding cultural programmes in the area.
The inauguration was followed by staging of the play “Kusum Upakhyan,” a Shattwik Natya Shamproday production. A sequel to the play “Kusum Bettanto” by the troupe, “Kusum Upakhyan” was written by poet and playwright Kazi Rosy. Sagir Mostofa is the director the play.
In the play a fairytale unfolds where Kusum, a beautiful and gifted village belle draws the attention of the benevolent King of Shantipur. At a crucial point of his kingship, when the subjects are leaving the land, the king decides to take Kusum as his queen. But the rogue prince and his attendants are determined to drive Kusum away from the palace. One moonlit night, Kusum, along with her newborn son, is forced to leave her home. Kusum sets out for the unknown.
Kashfim, Saiful, Anisur Rahman Selim, Matiur Sumon and Asaduzzaman Swapan played the central roles.
The festival will continue till March 23. It should be noted that Shattwik Natya Shamproday is the first to stage plays at the Studio Theatre, BSA — “a laudable initiative” as the guests put it.
Source: The Daily Star, Saturday, March 21, 2009