To mark the tenth death anniversary of 'Natyacharya' Selim Al Deen (January 14), Dhaka Theatre and Bangladesh Gram Theatre Federation are jointly organising a three-day memorial festival from January 12 at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA).
The programmes will begin with a seminar at 11am on January 12 at the Seminar Room of the National Theatre Hall, where Masum Reza will present a paper. On the second day, Dhaka Theatre will stage “Nimojjon” at the National Theatre Hall at 7pm. The play, written by Al Deen, has been directed by Nasiruddin Yousuff.
On the final day, the programmes will begin at 10am by paying tribute at Selim Al Deen's grave, at Jahangirnagar University. In the evening, Dhaka Theatre will stage “Dhaboman”, at the Bangla Academy. Shimul Yousuff has directed the play from Selim Al Deen's script.
Selim Al Deen is perhaps the most celebrated name in Bangladesh's theatre in post-Rabindranath era. The genius playwright is credited as ushering in a new era in the country's theatre scene trough his plays and extensive research.
Born on August 18, 1949 in Sonagazi Upazila of Feni, he pursued theatre with encouragement from author Munier Chowdhury. He wrote his first play in 1968 while still a university student. His first radio play “Biporit Tomosay” was broadcast in 1969, and the next year his play aired on Bangladesh Television.
He introduced epic realism in Bengali literature, and several of his works including “Bashon”, “Atotayi”, “Keramat Mangal”, “Hat Hodai” and “Chaka” follow this pattern. He also brought out the folklore tradition called Katha-natya in works like and “Hargaj” and “Joiboti Koinnar Mon”. Selim Al-Deen also revived Mymensingh Geetika, and penned a few plays following the pattern.
To pursue his love of theatre,, he founded the Drama and Dramatics Department at Jahangirnagar University. He was one of the founding members of Dhaka Theatre, and Bangladesh Gram Theatre Federation.