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This Friday and Saturday, an adaptation of The Lion King was shown in Sunbeams. Every year, Sunbeams produces an English play, but this was the first time that students from different classes worked together on a play. Although the original plot and much of the dialogue of the original Disney's The Lion King was kept intact, it had to be adapted for the stage. The result was a variety of colourful costumes, masks, fierce painted faces and some amazing stage and prop work.

The cast was made up of 9 singers, 16 dancers and 15 main characters, from classes V to IX. The music used for the play was live music using guitar and percussion instruments (Yes, we even had a choir in the corner). The main cast consisted of Zuhayr Bari (cub Simba), Wajed Islam(adult Simba), Safieh Kabir (Scar), Raashikuzzaman Faruque (Mufasa) , Aporajita Mustafa (Rafiki), Mir Aftabuddin (Zazu), Auyon Islam (Timon), Ambar Ahmed (Pumba), Alisa Prodhan (cub Nala), Zubaida Rahman (adult Nala), Shahreen Rahman (Shenzi), Syed Rashaad Habib (Ed), Raad Khalidi (Banzai), Jerisa Haque (Sarabi) and Preeta Anindita (Sarafina). The directorial team was led by Prachynat members Mr Shakhawat Hossain Rezvi as the Director and Ms Sanjida Priti as the Assistant Director and the Production Consultant for this play was Mr Shahidul Mamum. Teacher coordinators for the play were Ms Seleena Mustafa and Ms Munize Manzur.

Watching the play, it was obvious that a great amount of effort had been put into its production. Ms Munize Manzur said that the cast members had been rehearsing from nine days prior to the play, but after watching the play, it seemed impossible to pull off such amazing performances with so little time to practice.

The first thing we noticed, however, as soon as we walked into the auditorium, was the change. The top of the auditorium had been covered with cloth to give an open-sky feel and (for the first time, in my memory) it was actually dark. All of the focus was on the stage, and the props were (for us) stunning. They had a moon! And stars during the night! And a dusky dawn! But the performances actually took your eyes off the background. Pumba and Timon provided hilarious comic relief and while I'm sure everyone that went there speculated wildly over Mufasa's fall from the cliff, it definitely surpassed whatever expectations anyone had (No, I just can't seem to get over that). Scar and Simba's fight was good too and Rafiki's character was on the spot.

Call it school pride, but the play was definitely worth bragging about. It was obvious that the cast and the production team worked very hard to put the play together and, school spirit aside, it was very successful, so that should speak for itself.

By Sifana Sohail


Rise of the News Hunters

640 child journalists. Few know that there are so many working in news agencies around Bangladesh. But here's the clincher, there's more. Last week, on May 24-25, these 640 young journalists attended the 2nd Child Journalist Convention 2011 held in BIAM Auditorium in Dhaka. They were selected from every district but more remained. Five boys and five girls were chosen along with their respective team leaders who attended this humongous gathering of future mainstream news people.

Behind this was Shishu Prokash (Children's Express), an organisation that started off back in 2005 with the aim to let the young minds speak and more importantly, be heard. The motive behind this is that the children will themselves fight for and win their rights.

The function was divided into two parts with a cultural show taking up precedence for the young people. The other part involved a seminar where notable personalities from various news agencies presented their views on child rights and the future of child journalism. These included Kamrul hasan Monju, Editor of Shishu Prokash, Moshiul Alam, Assistant Editor of Prothom Alo, Shamim Reza, Asistant Professor DU, Morshedul Islam, Filmamaker, Falguni Hamid, Director of Bangladesh Shishu Academy, Arifa S Sharmin, Communication Manager of UNICEF Bangladesh.

Some young journalists were also present to put up their views and their issues. One of the most prominent issues was the lack of available space or platforms for young minds to voice their opinions. The journalists have a limited scope in printing their words. Their complaint was that these platforms usually allocate a little bit of space to publish perhaps a drawing sent in by a contributor, a small descriptive school event, a poem, puzzles and maybe a little story. It came out loud and clear that child journalists may be young but their minds are far more mature in terms of the hunger for more knowledge and information. They can't be satisfied with a little visual dressing.

Shishu Prokash has been providing training to young people who show aptitude in certain areas. They get to work as 'media people' which means everything including ground reporting, camera operating, news blogging, video editing, photography etc. While some of the young journalists asked why they can't be given more scope for reporting like 'grownups', the seminar speakers stressed that people under-18 are considered legally children and children as such cannot be given the risk that follows hardcore reporting. Also, children have education in the forefront of their daily lives. Because of that, Shishu Prokash's work takes place on Fridays. It's a necessary payoff between news work and school work.

Despite their obstacles, the young journalists have managed to bring out news that reflected positively on their communities. They reported against such prime time topics as child marriage, child abuse and worker rights. Quite a few have gone on to working in mainstream news agencies. An ex-Child Journalist Nazrul Islam from Cox's Bazaar publishes a monthly magazine called 'Bhorer Paira' since 2008. Ariful Islam Arman has been climbing his way up the newsroom ladder across various agencies including working as sub editor in Kaler Kantha. One of the event coordinators Khadiza Falguni is currently employed as feature writer at Prothom Alo. She stated how young journalists are hungry for an opportunity to prove themselves. She began her career as a child journalist. According to her and all the attending journalists, all these talents need is a platform where they can openly discuss every issue that interests, incites and inspires them. One thing is for sure, Bangladesh's media industry of tomorrow is going to be a challenging and interesting one.

By ER Ronny


TITANS: IRON MAIDEN

A Live-Square Concert

Live Square: Concerts is back. You might remember these guys from their flagship brand “The Wireless Sessions”. Now they are putting together a theme concert, Titans, in an effort to answer the demands by the fans for a good metal concert with good bands at the classic metal venues.

Based on this need of the audience, on June 10, 2011, Cryptic Fate will take the stage as tribute to the gods of heavy metal, Iron Maiden. Apparently, Iron Maiden ranked first among many other Titans, who will be covered eventually. Cryptic Fate have always performed Iron Maiden numbers very well and it will be interesting to hear their renditions again, where they will cover the fan-favourites.

The venue for this concert is, where else, Russian Cultural Centre, the old haunt of metalheads from across Dhaka. If you want to be at the popular underground venue, it will cost you Tk. 666, and yes, the pun is wholeheartedly intended. Other than the ticket this will include accessories such as Iron Maiden T-shirt, backpacks, etc. The number of tickets are limited though, so watch out for that.

Well, there you have it. “Live Square: Concerts invites all the troopers, the moonchilds and the wickermen to join the dance of death and pay homage to Iron Maiden!” Let's hope it's the kind of concert we've been waiting for.

More details on: Facebook/LiveSquareConcerts.
Hotline: 01716 111 111.

   

 

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