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14th Nat’l Children Theatre and Cultural Festival

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Sheikh Arif Bulbon :
The 14th edition of National Children’s Theatre and Cultural Festival 2019 featuring performances by child theatre artistes is going on at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the capital’s Segunbagicha area.
The nine-day festival has been jointly organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and People's Theatre Association (PTA) where a total of 10,000 children from 95 children theatre troupes from across the country are participating every day at eight venues of BSA from 20 to 28 September.
Plays are being staged at different venues including National Theatre Hall, Experimental Theatre Hall, Studio Theatre Hall, Music and Dance Centre, National Art Gallery and others of BSA every day.
The festival began with a colourful procession after which eminent artist and puppeteer Mustafa Monowar created a painting along with children at the field of the academy. The inaugural ceremony was held at National Theatre Hall.
Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader MP was present as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the festival, while State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, noted artist Mustafa Monowar, honourary President of International Theatre Institute (ITI) Ramendu Majumdar and Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation Secretary General Kamal Bayezid, among others, were present as special guests. Director General of BSA Liaquat Ali Lucky presided over the inaugural ceremony.
In his speech, Obaidul Quader said, “Children from across the country are participating in the festival. Bangladesh is rich in tradition and culture. We have a vibrant cultural scene for which the younger generation is growing up as enlightened citizens. The government will continue supporting the cultural sector in future.”
Mustafa Monowar said, “Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy was established by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Having a sense of aesthetics is essential for human beings, which is transmitted through the practice of art. Without the development of the mind a person cannot be progressive.”
“We are organising the festival to encourage children in theatre. Today’s children are tomorrow’s future and hence it is important that they grow up as liberal individuals,” said Director General of BSA Liaquat Ali Lucky.
Following the inaugural ceremony, child artistes of Chapainawabganj District Shilpakala Academy, Diamond Club, Jashore and Tirjak, Jashore staged plays at the venue.
Besides, different troupes staged puppet shows, plays, recitation and others at Experimental Theatre Hall, Studio Theatre Hall and others.
Each day the festival is featuring a total of 85 performances comprised of plays, dance recitals, magic shows and more. The festival also featured dance, recitation, drawing, the Historic 7th March Speech, acrobatic show, and also performances by the specially-abled children.
BSA also has arranged film screening, film workshop, theatre workshop, puppet show, magic show for the participating child artistes.
The festival will come to an end on September 28 through the birthday celebration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Tonoy Shishu Natya Padak will be conferred on the closing day of the festival.
Also, a month-long exhibition - featuring photography, painting, portrait and video installation on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina - will begin at the National Art Plaza of the BSA. National Parliament Speaker Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will inaugurate the exhibition on the closing day of the festival September 28.
Started in 1995, the festival is considered as the country’s biggest theatre and cultural fiesta solely participated by children. n

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