Vol. 5 Num 474 Sun. September 25, 2005  

Discussion and play
SM Solaiman remembered

September 22 is the fourth death anniversary of theatre personality SM Solaiman. In commemoration, Theatre Art Unit arranged a discussion programme at Mahila Samity Stage on September 23.

Presided over by Rokeya Rafiq Baby-- the chief of the theatre troupe-- theatre personality Mamunur Rashid, Professor Syed Jamil Ahmed, Dr Biplab Bala and Azad Abul Kalam held discussions on the programme.

SM Solaiman was the founder of many theatre groups of the country such as Padatik, Dhaka Padatik, Theatre Art Unit and others. Elected twice as the general secretary of the Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, Solaiman played a vital role in the cultural field. He was the dramatist of 30 stage plays. The successful stage play director created a new trend in theatre-- presenting plays through music and dance compositions. His plays like Ingit, Ei Deshe Ei Beshe, Inspector General, Court Martial, Golapjan and others have received a warm response. He was also the founder member of Sammilto Sankskritik Jote.

Azad Abul Kalam said, "Music is a common device in theatre and SM Solaiman is one of the few directors who have successfully re-introduced it in the neo-theatre movement in Bangladesh." Dr Biplab Bala said, "He was the representative of 'youth' in our theatre."

Professor Syed Jamil Ahmed said, "In a third world country like Bangladesh, only two playwrights--SM Solaiman and Mamunur Rashid successfully represent political consciousness in their plays, however, their approach is different. I have learnt a lot from Solaiman, however Mamunur Rashid and I don't always see eye to eye. According to Peter Brook's 'Rough Theatre' concept, I like to analyse Solaiman's satires as 'Rough Theatre', which have the potential to spread political consciousness amongst the middle class." "Solaiman had wonderful rhythm sense in his musical compositions," added Jamil.

Mamunur Rashid said, "It is not the person but his/her achievements that keep one alive. Solaiman lives through his plays. We still find his influence on the music compositions of our theatre."

Chairperson Rokeya Rafiq Baby said, "To encourage theatre activists, this year we have introduced a scholarship in memoriam of SM Solaiman. In future, we have plans to give a fellowship."

The recipient of "SM Solaiman Smrity Britti-- 2005" is young theatre talent Aminur Rahman Mukul. Chief of theatre troupe Palakar, Mukul, is a dramatist, director and designer. Syed Jamil Ahmed handed over the laurel to Mukul.

After the discussion, activists of Theatre Art Unit presented drama-songs written and composed by SM Solaiman. M Bari was the host of the programme.

Later, Dhaka Padatik staged Ingit, a popular play written and directed by SM Solaiman.

(L-R) Prof Syed Jamil Ahmed, Dr Biplab Bala, Azad Abul Kalam,Mamunur Rashid and Rokeya Rafiq Baby at the event. PHOTO: STAR