Well-known theatre group, Samahar is all set to launch the 11th edition of the Brajanath Sharma Memorial Inter State Drama Festival Committee. Like each year, this year too the festival will be held amid celebrations, from 9 to 15 September 2017, at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati.
Samahar has been organizing the event since 2007 in the hallowed memory of Brajanath Sharma – the father of Assamese moving (mobile) theatre, who was also a revolutionary and played an active pat in the freedom struggle against the British. Sharma was singlehandedly responsible for setting the British aerodrome ablaze at the Boranagar. Sharma is also known to have brought down the mighty British by destroying the Sarbhog Police Station and a British Post Office on 26 August 1942. This became his contribution to the Quit India Movement. Brajanath Sharma revolted against the British by bringing theatre to the people of Assam. He was the pioneer of modern Assamese theatre, who also was the first to introduce co-acting in Assam, bringing women to the stage as actors for the first time.
Addressing the crowd, Drama Festival Committee President Mr. Lalit Sharma stressed on today’s need for theatre for the new generation to get to know their own roots. “We are very happy to formally announce the programme of the festival. Over the last ten years, this festival has become a very important landmark cultural event of Assam. At present, it has become all the more important to make it a big success every year.”
Stressing on the need for the Assamese public to support and encourage Theatre Art, Vice President of the Drama Festival Committee, Taheruddin Ahmed said that over the years, theatre art in the State has gained importance but a lot is still yet to be done. “This year, we are keeping a minimal fee of Rs. 20 per person for the tickets. However, if someone is unable to pay that, we will except whatever minimal sum can be given by that person as a token. We need our youth to support theatre art, for it is intertwined with our own Assamese history.” Ahmed also called on the people to support theatre artists as they are hard workers who put in every effort to bring to the world a myriad number of theatre art to the world.
The Brajanath Sharma Memorial Inter State Drama Festival will commence on 9 Sept 2017, where the inaugural ceremony will be highlighted by Brajanath Sharma’s daughter Nirmali Mishra, his grand daughter Nilakshi Mishra Sharma and former pro Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University, lyricist, poet and actor Dr. Amarjyoti Choudhury. The souvenir will be released by the writer, Khanin Chowdhury. This will be followed by the play Chan 2200 of Natyam from Puranigudam, written Jayanta K Bora and directed by Anjan Bhuyan. This play will be a depiction of how in the future, much of the human space will be occupied by machines and what would be the quantum of space given to human values.
The seven-day festival will also showcase Samahar’s own play PIL-99 and Charbak, directed and written by the group’s own General Secretary Sitanath Lahkar. Guwahati-based theatre group Prayas will also stage their play Oposriyomaan presented by Udipta Kumar Bhattacharya and Rituparna Kalita. The main focus of the event would however be the Anavrat Theatre Group of Delhi who will be showcasing their play Saryu Parar Monalisa written by Dhanjit Kakati and directed by Richa Tiwari. The central theme of the play is the caste difference still prevalent in our society and how it is relevant in exploiting the poor even today.
The week-long event will be brought to an end by a performance of the Little Drama Group of Udaipur, Tripura, who will showcase their play Antopurer Latar Kotha written and directed by Malay Bhowmik and Ranjit Goswami. Every performance will end with an audience interaction with the play directors and playwrights.