A ten-day International Theatre Festival marking the 20th anniversary of Theatre Art Unit (TAU) begins today at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Five overseas troupes will stage six plays at the fest, organised by TAU in association with Shilpakala Academy. Fourteen local troupes will hold shows of as many plays.
The plays will be staged at National Theatre Hall and Experimental Theatre Hall, while the lobby of National Theatre Hall will be used as a performance space as well. Different theatre troupes and cultural organisations will hold musical and other cultural shows each day.
Rokeya Rafique Baby, chairperson of the troupe and convenor of the festival, informed that at the inaugural programme they will honour two noted theatre personalities -- Syed Shamsul Haq (as a playwright) and Indian director Bivash Chakraborty -- for their achievements.
Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu will inaugurate the festival, while Indian High Commissioner Pankaj Saran will be present as special guest. Among others, Ramendu Majumdar, ITI Worldwide president; veteran theatre personalities Ataur Rahman and Mamunur Rashid will speak at the inaugural. Rokeya Rafique Baby will preside over the opening programme.
On the inaugural day, Indian troupe Swapna Shandhani (Kolkata) will stage Shakespeare's "Macbeth" at the National Theatre Hall, while Theatre (Bailey Road) will stage "Payer Awaaj Pawa Jaye" at the Experimental Theatre Hall.
The other overseas troupes are Rong Bidushak (Bhopal), Rangashram and Ritwik (both from Murshidabad), and Theatre Mandala (Nepal).
The organising troupe, credited with bringing hugely successful plays such as "Amina Shundari" and "Court Martial", will hold a show of the latter play at the festival on November 23. It will be the 200th show of the play that was initially directed by SM Solaiman. Now, M. Bari, coordinator of TAU, is the director of the play.
Local troupes such as Theatre (Bailey Road), Aranyak, Natya Kendra, Nagarik Natyasampraday, Centre for Asian Theatre, Shomoy, Palakar and Prachyanat will stage their plays at the festival as well.
The plays will start at 6:30 pm each day.
TAU was formed in 1992.