For the first time in the nation's history, an international theatre festival will be organized at the initiative of the Cultural Affairs Ministry. Seven countries will participate in the week-long Bangladesh International Theatre Festival, which will be inaugurated on Thursday evening at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy by the State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid.
The announcements were made by the State Minister in the seminar room of the National Theatre Gallery at Shilpakala Academy on Tuesday.
Acting Secretary to the Cultural Ministry Dr Md Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ITI Honourary President Ramendu Majumdar, ITI Bangladesh Centre President Nasiruddin Yousuff, Director General of Shilpakala Academy Liaquat Ali Lucky, and Group Theatre Federation Secretary General Kamal Bayezid were present—alongside the minister—at the conference.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said: "We received the proposal for the International Theatre Festival at the end of the last financial year. However, no budget was allocated to provide funds for it. The money that was left was under the spending jurisdiction of the Cultural Affairs Ministry. Then we decided that we would organize it by ourselves. This is happening for the first time."
The state minister also said: "At the inaugural festival, Bangladesh will have two theatre troupes; while Russia, China, France, Vietnam, and Nepal will participate with one theatre troupe each."
The special guest of the inaugural ceremony will be Planning Minister MA Mannan.
The festival will feature seven theatre productions, one dance drama performance, and a theatre seminar. Thespians of the country will have to register online to enjoy the festival, which is free for all. The festival is being organized by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Bangladesh Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI), in collaboration with Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation.
The Cultural Affairs Ministry has announced that this festival will be organized every other year. Additionally, the Ministry will provide full support for the ITI Bangladesh Centre, Group Theatre Federation, and Pothnatok Parishad to enable them to hold the festival every year.
The festival's schedule was announced by ITI Bangladesh Centre's Secretary General Debaprosad Debnath.
On the inaugural night of the festival the dance drama "Mayar Khela" will be performed by Dhriti Nartanalaya. A French production "Oh My Sweet Land," and an Indian production of "Macbeth" will be staged on June 21. A Bangladeshi production "Zaitun Bibir Pala," Chinese play "F CK," Nepalese play "Jhialincha," Vietnamese play "Kim Tu," plus Russian play "Light Puppet Show," will be staged on the subsequent days of the festival.
All the productions will be staged in the main auditorium of National Theatre Gallery in Dhaka's Shilpakala Academy. The theatre seminar will happen in the seminar room of the National Theatre Gallery on Sunday.
Nasiruddin Yousuff said on the occasion: "48 years after the Liberation, we are organizing a theatre festival. Since it is a government initiative, thespians can enjoy the festival for free, and no money will be charged of them."
To get free ticket theatre lovers can register online at www.internationaltheatrefestbd.com.