A month-long theatre festival, titled 'Mahala Magan', organised by popular theatre troupe Prachyanaut has begun at its rehearsal room in capital's Katabon.

Prachyanaut premieres three plays at the event and stage two old plays following health directives. The plays will be staged twice a week at 7:00 pm and not more 20 spectators will be allowed at the venue. The ticket price per person is Tk 200.

The troupe was staged its production 'The Zoo Story' on September 4 and 5. The play, penned by late American playwright Edward Albee, has been translated into Bangla by Ashfaqul Ashekin and directed by Kazi Taufiqul Islam Emon.

'The Dumb Waiter' will be staged on September 11 and 12. The play, penned by late British playwright Harold Pinter, has been translated into Bangla by Rabiul Alam and directed by Shawkat Hossain Sajib.

Prachyanaut will premiere the play 'Hundred by Hundred' on September 18. The play's second show will be staged on September 19. It has been written and directed by Saiful Journal.

The play 'Colonel Ke Keu Chithi Lekhe Na' will be premiered on September 25 and its second show will be staged on September 26. The play is a theatrical adaptation of a novel penned by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It has been translated by Md Shawkat Hossain Sajib and directed by Kazi Taufiqul Islam Emon.

The troupe will premiere the play 'Faust Athoba Anya Keu', based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 'Faust', on October 2. Its second show will be held on October 3.

Theatre was possibly the most forceful and exuberant expression of post-liberation Bangladesh. Numerous non-professional theatre groups were formed all over the country, modelled after the group theatre movement in post-Nabanna Calcutta. The most important among these in Dhaka city were Theatre (established February 1972), Nagarik Natya Sampraday (established 1968, first performance August 1972), Natyachakra (established August 1972), Aranyak Natyadal (established 1972), Dhaka Theatre (established July 1973) and, in Chittagong, Theatre '73 (established 1973), ''Tirjak Nattyagoshthi'' (Established May 1974) and Arindam (established September 1974). The range of texts performed by the groups varied widely, from Euro-American plays to contemporary originals written by group members themselves. A completely new set of playwrights appeared, important among whom were Abdullah al Mamun, Mamunur Rashid, Syed Shamsul Huq, Selim Al Deen, Mumtazuddin Ahmed, Rabiul Alam, S M Solaiman, Abdullahel Mahmud, Mannan Heera, Malay Bhowmick, Azad Abul Kalam and Saymon Zakaria.

The culture of theatre has great significance in the history as well as the daily lives of Bangladeshis. The theatre performances had vehemently inspired the independence movements during the British rule in Bangladesh. It also had great impact in the Bengali language movement. The language-based nationalists during the East Pakistan period played an important role in this regard. Kabar written by Munier Chowdhury is a famous play based on the language movement. The theatre performances also significantly influenced the independence struggle of Bangladesh. At present, many NGOs use theatre as a forceful medium to create awareness for many social issues in the rural areas of Bangladesh.

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