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Linking Young Minds Together
  Volume 3 | Issue 20 | May 22, 2011 |


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Campus Stage

Showcasing Timeless Love

Promiti Prova Chowdhury

Courtesy : ULAB
Courtesy : ULAB
Different scenes from the play Leela-Konko.
Courtesy : ULAB

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) staged the famous play Leela-Konko at its auditorium on May 8, 2011. A musical stage-play from the Maimansingha Gitika, the play, directed by Mostafiz Shahin, showcased a collection of folk ballads from the region of Mymensingh, Bangladesh. It was performed as a part of the final project for the course, Introduction to Drama, which is a GED (General Education) course offered at ULAB. Noted theatre activist and Registrar of ULAB, Khaled Khan, was the production advisor of the performance.

Leela-Konko is a tragic and educational musical play that portrays the timeless love-story of Konko and Leela, who are eventually destroyed by religious conflict. Konko is an orphan who is brought up by the respected Hindu priest of the village. He is an amazing flute player and loved by everyone in the village. Leela is the daughter of the priest and Konko's best friend. As they grow up, they fall in love. One day Konko plays his flute to a Muslim saint which gives birth to a rumour in the village that Konko has become a disciple of the Muslim saint. The villagers also start taunting the priest about his relationship with Leela. The priest mixes poison in Konko's food. Seeing this Leela tells Konko to leave the village. In the end, Leela dies and then Konko returns home. The villagers, along with the priest remain repentant. The play ends with the legendary song of Lalon Shah, “jedin hindu musalman... boudhho khristan... jati gotro nahi robe... emon manobshomaj kobe go srijon hobe...?” (When will there come a day when there will be no religious barriers among people?)

A total of 33 students of the course put up this play after a month of rehearsal. Konko was played by Shishir, a student from the Department of English and Leela was played by Monira, Anannya and Nupur. Tarif Mohammad Khan portrayed the character of the priest. Roman, Purna and Reza played the role of narrators. “Doing theatre is not a new experience for me but doing it for a course definitely is. Theatre is all about team work. Good communication and understanding among the team members give birth to a great production. In these three months I have built up a team with students of diverse courses. It is just because of their support that I could give 100 percent while performing the character of Gorgo, the priest.” says Tarif.

At the end of the show Juditha Ohlmacher, Director, Communications, ULAB, congratulated the students for putting up such a great show. She stressed that, Bangladesh, having so many indigenous forms of theatre, can be brought to the international platform. She also said that plays like Leela-Konko are timeless and breaks all language barriers. The direction of music was given by A K Azad, light was arranged by Badal and make-up was done by Tonmoy.

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