Dr. Roman SarmaH reports on the recently held three-day RG Baruah Drama Festival.
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Leading socio-cultural organisation Jyotirupa, by inviting three well-known drama teams, including one from Mumbai, presented a melange of plays at the 13th edition of the Singhapurush Radha Govinda Baruah Full-Length Drama Festival at the Rabindra Bhawan, Guwahati, recently.

The three-day drama festival was set in motion by according a public felicitation to the Sangeet Natak Akademi and Padma Shri awardee Nrityacharjya Jatin Goswami, who lauded Jyotirupa’s activities and urged upon everyone to be involved in the cultural arena.

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Guwahati-based drama organisation Rangapeeth presented the play Anjania Bhakat, written, designed and directed by noted drama activist Dulal Roy, on the first day. The play highlighted the system of the guru-sishya parampara of the satras established for the proliferation of Vaishnavite culture in Assam. It also brought forth the various conflicting situations that create a hindrance in the path of the satras, and the ultimate overcoming of the stumbling blocks.

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With the signature stage décor of Dulal Roy, the play was presented with minimal props. The play, however, could have been trimmed a bit to make it more compact for a telling effect. The artistes performed the roles authentically and adequately. The child artistes also exhibited potential for excellence. Of the artistes, Tilottama Sarma, Mukul Goswami, Raju Roy and Karabi Pathak need to be specially mentioned for their histrionic acumen. The play’s music was suitably infused, although, at times, the light projection seemed a little flawed. Nevertheless, the play moved the audience.

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On the second evening of the festival, Seagull — a renowned drama institution from Assam, presented a play, titled Akash, directed by the architect of the institution, Baharul Islam. He had adapted the play from a story written by renowned littérateur, filmmaker Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia, who has left behind a memorable legacy. The story of this play delves deep into the core of the human mind – which resonated with the audience.

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Baharul Islam designed the play in such an innovative way that there was no room for monotony or distraction. All the artistes performed well and their perseverance was evident. Not surprisingly, Islam commanded huge applause for his many-hued character portrayal. Light and music also extended able support to the flow of the dramatic action.

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On the third evening of the festival, Sudipto Chakravarty, General Manager (Operations) of Oil India Limited, was felicitated prior to the presentation of the play Godan. This play, written by Bishnu Prawakar, is based on the original story with the same title written by the legendary littérateur Munshi Premchand. It was mounted by Angana – a drama organisation from Mumbai. The play was designed and directed by Ujjwala Barman and Sajjad Hussain Khan.

The story is a very touching narration of the plight of the downtrodden and exploited cultivators of the rural areas and how they become unable to perform even the last rites of the head of the family. While all the artistes performed the roles adequately, Sajjad Hussain Khan excelled over everyone else. Light projection and music aided the movement of the play adequately.

After a year that was shrouded by the pandemic, this theatre fest provided an opportunity to all connoisseurs of drama to get a taste of a few enjoyable and thought-provoking plays. Let’s hope this journey continues.

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