Munier Chowdhury, Zakaria awards conferred

November 28, 2014

Munier Chowdhury, Zakaria awards conferred-Munier Chowdhury memorial award and Zakaria Smrity Padak were conferred respectively on Mrittika Chakma and Irin Pervin Lopa on Thursday marking the 89th birth anniversary of martyred intellectual, educationist, playwright Munier Chowdhury. Poet-playwright Syed Shamsul Haq handed over the awards to the recipients at a programme organised by Theatre at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.Haq also delivered a commemorative lecture on Munier Chowdhury. Thespians Ramendu Majumder, Ferdausi Majumder, Traupa Majumder, among others attended the programme.
Theatre members read Munier Chowdhury’s drama Manush at the programme.
Theatre has been conferring Munier Chowdhury memorial award, named after the martyr, since 1989 to a seasoned theatre activist and Zakaria Smrity Padak, named after the iconic theatre activist Mohammad Zakaria, since 1997 to a promising theatre activist.
This year’s Munier Chowdhury memorial award recipient Mrittika Chakma has long been passionately involved in theatre and literature. A graduate of Bangla Literature from Chittagong University, Mrittika Chakma’s commitment to theatre activism both in the Chakma language and in Bangla has been unwavering.
A prolific playwright, Mrittika has written over 15 plays in the Chakma and Bangla languages. Some of her noted plays include the likes of Ekjur Mannek, Baan, Kormophol and Gojhen.
Sharing his endeavours, Mrittika told New Age that theatre is an integral part of Chakma culture. ‘In present days there has been a growing tendency among our theatre activists to mould our theatre productions in the modern styles. The traditional theatre, more like jatra pala, is also quite popular among us,’ Mrittika said.
‘Issues of our lives are addressed more in recent productions, while the traditional palas usually are based on folk stories, legends or on the Buddhist philosophy,’ he added.
Mrittika said that he incorporated some burning issues in his plays like Baan. ‘Following the style of Tagore classic Muktadhara, I addressed the impact of Kaptai dam on the adjacent people in the play,’ Mrittika said.
He further said that contemporary Chakma literature is vibrant enough. ‘But we need more works on contemporary issues’, he said.
The Zakaria Smrity Padak recipient Irin Perveen Lopa said that the award would encourage her to go forward as a theatre activist.
Born into a culturally active family of old Dhaka, Lopa, director of professional troupe Natyam Repertory and also drama instructor of Shilpakala Academy, had been exposed to the vibrancy of culture from her childhood.
Lopa began as a child artiste with Shishuteertha. Subsequently, she joined Theatre (Arambag) in her teens and appeared in productions like Saat Hater Kanakori, Rakkhosi, King Lear and others.
Lopa’s study at Rabinra Bharati University at its theatre department made her commit more to theatre. In India she worked with prominent thespians like Ratan Thiyam, Bibhas Chakraborty, Ashok Mukhopadhyay, Usha Ganguly, Monoj Mitra and others.
‘Theatre is the thing I live with. I am a twenty-four hours theatre activist,’ the passionate theatre activist said.
Lopa’s passion lies in directing plays. So far she has directed around 25 plays for different troupes across the country. She also aims to work to enhance professionalism in the country’s theatre.

-With New Age input

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