BotTala's 10-day theatre festival, BotTala Rongomela, opens today at the capital's Mohila Samiti. A total of seven groups of Bangladesh, two from India and one troupe from Iran will present their plays at the festival, along with a host of other activities. The second edition of the festival has the theme "Celebration of Emancipation against killing of the world and humans".
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor will inaugurate the festival at 6:30pm, where Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu will attend as special guest, along with MK Aaref, Faiz Zahir, Azad Abul Kalam and Nuna Afroze.
The opening will also see the premiere of BotTala's new play "Crutch-er Colonel", based on the life of Liberation War hero and one of the masterminds of the November 7 coup, Colonel Taher. Other plays at the festival are "Chup Adalat Cholchhe" by Campus (Cooch Bihar, India), "Maatbring" by Biborton (Jessore), "Gohor Badsha O Banesa Pori" by Nagorik Natyangan, "Athoi" by Natdha (Bihar, India), "Condemned Cell" by Prangonemor, "Karbala'r Jari" by Jahangirnagar University, "the Jubilee Hotel" by Aranyak Natya Dal and "Mayanodi" by theatre, The festival's closing play is "The Mud" by Crazy Body Group (Iran). Like last year, a 'Rongo Adda' will be held where the director of the featured play will interact with the audience. The plays will begin at 7pm everyday.
This year's BotTala Lifetime Achievement Award will be handed on the closing day to eminent thespian Aly Zaker. Aside from that, eight dedicated theatre activists from outside the capital will be recognised for their contribution to the country's theatre, separately from the second to the ninth day of the festival.
Aside from the staging of plays, there will be live music, plays and performance art on the open premises of the Mohila Samiti every day from 5:30pm, featuring performances by Kafil Ahmed, Samageet, Madol, Shohure Gayen, and theatre and film clubs of North South University and University of Liberal Arts. On December 9, a special arrangement has been organised for children -- featuring an art camp at 9am, and staging of "Modhu Shikari", BotTala's play for children based on Karthika Nayar's "The Honey Hunter".
The festival is being held with support from the Cultural Affairs Ministry, EMK Center and Dhaka Bank.