January 27, 2021, 3:21 am
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  • Update Time : Tuesday, August 18, 2020,
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Selim Al Deen’s birth anniversary today

The 71st birth anniversary of the late legendary dramatist and theoretician Selim Al Deen will be celebrated today.

Different organisations have arranged online programmes to celebrate the occasion.

Jahangirnagar University’s drama and dramatics department will place floral wreaths on Selim Al-Deen’s grave at 10:00 am on JU campus. The department will also arrange an online programme on its Facebook page at 7:00 pm today.

Theatre troupe Dhaka Theatre will observe the day by placing floral wreaths on Al-Deen’s grave in the morning and arrange a three-day online programme. Recordings of Al Deen’s plays will be streamed live on its Facebook page at 7:00 pm.

Theatre troupe Swapnadal will organise an online discussion on the life and works of Selim Al-Deen and a webinar titled ‘Hargaj: Ek Bhanga Bhubaner Dhusar Mancharup’ where Swapnadal member Ali Hasan will present the key-note paper at 8:00 pm. Thespians Ataur Rahman, Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu, Afsar Ahmed along with celebrated Indian theatre researcher Angshuman Bhowmick will participate in the event. Swapnadal chief secretary Zahid Repon will be present as the chief coordinator at the programme, which will be streamed on Ripon’s Facebook wall. Besides, the troupe will stream Selim Al Deen’s acclaimed play ‘Hargaj’ on Facebook at 8:00 pm. The play has been directed by Zahid Repon.

Selim Al Deen was born in 1949. He was the pioneer of neo-theatre movement in Bangladesh. He developed a new drama form based on the narratives of traditional indigenous theatre. The playwright developed a unique style. The structure of his plays is innovative, his narratives are lyrical and nature appears spontaneously in his plays.

In 1974, Al Deen joined as a lecturer at the Bangla department of Jahangirnagar University. The drama and dramatics department was opened under his guidance, and he served as its founder chairman in 1986. Al Deen was a founding member of Dhaka Theatre. He was also the chief adviser of Bangladesh Gram Theatre, which he founded along with Nasiruddin Yousuff in 1981-82.

Selim Al Deen began searching for the roots of Bangla theatre in the early 1980s. He negated the conventional concept of theatre, calling it ‘western-influenced’ and initiated the development of a different theatre form based on local tradition. He began his research to trace the origin of Bangla theatre and developed his own style of writing plays based on the (thousands of years old) traditional performing art forms. ‘Shakuntala’, ‘Kittonkhola’, ‘Keramat Mongol’, ‘Hat Hadai’, ‘Chaka’, ‘Joiboti Koinnar Mon’, ‘Hargaj’, ‘Bonopangshul’, ‘Nimojjon’ and many other plays by Al Deen are remarkable examples of the narrative style he popularised. His play ‘Horgoj’ has been translated in the Swedish language.

Al Deen’s plays have been included in the curricula of the University of Dhaka, Jahangirnagar University, Jadavpur University and Rabindra Bharati University in India. He received several awards including Ekushey Padak in 2007, Bangla Academy Award in 1984, Best Tele-playwright Award in 1994 and National Film Award for Best Dialogue in 1994.

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