Wednesday, October 4, 2023
North East

Assam theatre fest ends with renowned playwright’s drama on pandemic

Guwahati, September 16: Renowned playwright and theatre personality Sitanath Lahkar’s latest play ‘Drohi’ was staged at the annual Brajanath Sharma Memorial Inter-State Drama Festival here on Friday, the last day of the 14th edition of the fest.
Based on Covid period, the play exposes how a section of society tried to capitalise on the human catastrophe by means of superstitions.
“The pandemic had brought out the best and worst in people. We have tried to portray both sides, especially how the medical community put their lives at stake only to later face near-social ostracisation,” Lahkar, an actor of repute who also played the protagonist, said.
He said the vulnerability of the masses to be swinged by popular sentiments in times of crisis as well as the ability of the same people to side with reason when put forth convincingly has also been highlighted through the play.
The theatre festival, organised by amateur theatre group Samahar Natya Gosthee since 2007, was not held after 2019 due to the pandemic and returned to the annual circuit this year.
It is organised in the memory of Brajanath Sharma, revered as the ‘father of Assamese mobile theatre’.
A firebrand freedom fighter and pioneer of modern Assamese theatre, he had first brought women on stage to introduce co-acting in the state in 1933.
“It has given us immense pleasure that the festival was well received and we had good turnout in all the five days,” president of the drama festival committee Lalit Sarma said.
“We bring plays based on social themes, which touches the core of issues facing society,” he added.
The inaugural play on September 11 was ‘Sagoror Bukut Ejaak Jonakor Mrityu’, presented by Art from Nagaon, mainly talking about the perennial flood havoc and its impact on common people.
Jagiroad Natyagosthi’s ‘Ekalabya’ was performed on the second night, which revolves around a rape victim and showcases her struggle to get justice against the accused, who is linked to a powerful politician of the area.
‘Jiban Zindabad’ by Jorhat Theatre was staged on the third night. A family drama that showed how a family deals with a paralysed father.
The fourth night featured Agartala-based Somankur’s ‘Bodhoday’ based on a tale of a teenage Muslim girl, who takes a room on rent in a house of a Hindu family. The story revolves around the clash between the two sides, especially the tenant and the wife of the house owner. (PTI)