A message on World Theatre Day

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By DALIA MUKHERJEE
  • Published 4.04.14
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What is the agenda of performing artistes, specially theatre actors, in the present global scenario? Should they conform only to the demand of the market and the need to survive in the vast world of competition? Or do they feel compelled to grab power that they have attained through their talent and performance to clear the minds and hearts of society, to inspire and enchant them to create a world of hope and open-hearted collaboration?

South African playwright Brett Bailey raised these pertinent questions to theatre artistes and performers across the world on World Theatre Day, urging them to think of their social responsibility as role-players and not mere actors on stage.

Bailey’s message was read out by Subir Goswami at Pashchim Banga Natya Sangha and Howrah Samabeta Prayas’s celebration of World Theatre Day on March 27 at Bholagiri Kalamandir. With a hall-full of theatre workers present, the message seemed to remind them about their social responsibility.

“Bailey’s message this year is indeed an inspiration for many of us who work seriously on theatre. The scope of theatre is large and so is its reach. There are many who make an effort through this medium to bring about small changes in society. But few of us come to know of their effort,” said Utpal Phauzdar, the director of Bauria People’s Repertory Theatre (PRT).

World Theatre Day was observed for two days at Bholagiri Kalamandir on March 27 and 30 with nine theatre groups performing on both the days. Most of the short plays were new productions with some exceptions. On March 27 were three plays – Shailpik’s Bhut, Anami Angan staged Nachan Jokhon Nachaye and Theatre Platform Paribartak’s Ekdin Rattirey.

Day 2, March 30 was dedicated to plays by various groups. Samipesu’s popular comedy, Ekti Abastab Golpo was staged after a long break. Bauria PRT staged a new play, Tamaku Sebaner Apakarita, based on Anthon Chekov’s play On Harmful Effects of Tobacco.

Mandas staged a new play Ek Daily Passenger er Karun Kahini, which was staged for the second time in the past three months.

Pashchim Banga Natya Sangha has been observing World Theatre Day every year with the aim of bringing together theatre groups in Howrah and spreading the message of social responsibility through this medium. “Theatre has the power of expression, greater than many other forms of media. It can be the catalyst for social reform,” reminded Phauzdar.