Surma river of Sylhet and Barak river of Assam may be divided by a border but the Barak-Surma valley share common folklore, culture and traditions.
Now theatre proves a binding factor as the two valleys come together on the stage of Kabi Nazrul Auditorium in Sylhet.
Kathakali, a theatre organisation has put up “Barak-Surma Natyotshab '18” where four theatre troupes from Sylhet and three theatre groups from Assam are participating with their productions.
The nine-day festival was inaugurated on March 8 with a stage play by hosts Kathakali. The theatre group presented play “Durbin Shah”, written by Mostak Ahmed and directed by Amirul Islam Babu, the play is based on the life and work of the mystic bard Durbin Shah.
In the festival--Nrityashaily presented dance-drama – “Mohajoner Nao” written by Shakur Majid and directed by Nilanjana Jui on March 9; Nandik Natyadal staged play “Hason Raja” written by Mostak Ahmed and directed by Amirul Islam Babu on March 10 and Little Theatre Sylhet staged “Bhaibe Radharaman”, written and directed by Tanvir Nahid Khan on March 11.
On March 12, Dashrupak Sangskritik Sangstha of Silchar, Assam will stage “Shekor Sondhane”, written and directed by Chitrabhanu Bhowmik. Gono-Sur Sangskritik Sangstha of Shilchar will stage a Debesh Thakur play “Shesh Songlap”, directed by Subrata Roy on March 13. The same group will stage “Legacy Code 19-05-1961”, written by Arijit Aditya and directed by Subrata Roy.
Bibartan Theatre Group of Hailakandi will stage Indranil Dey's play “Aj Bashanto”, directed by Shayon Biswas on March 15.
The festival will close on March 16, honouring theatre and music legends. At the closing ceremony, a solo dance presentation by Satyajit Basu Joy will take place while a musical presentation by Dalchut of Silchar, India will follow.
Shamima Chowdhury, president of Kathakali, said that the present Barak valley was formerly known as Kachar which was a greater part of Sylhet and was separated in 1947.
“These valleys have been separated by a border, but the confluence of culture still unites both the peoples and the festival is to rejuvenate the bond of Barak and Surma valleys”, she said.