"Militant, decay, corruption – this culture will not tolerate," with this motto began the first-ever National Drama Festival 2020 yesterday at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). More than 400 drama groups across 64 districts are participating in this festival.
Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation is organising the stage-drama extravaganza from February 12 to February 29 in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 18-day-long festival at 11.30am through video conferencing from the prime minister's official residence Ganabhaban.
BSA's divisional offices in Dhaka, Chattogram, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet joined the inauguration. Besides, the programme was also aired from the district council offices simultaneously.
A press conference was held at the National Theatre Hall's seminar room on Tuesday to announce the festival. BSA Director General and Bangladesh Group Theatre Association's President Liaquat Ali Lucky briefed the journalists about the details of the festival.
Under the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and with the cooperation of BSA, 30,000 drama activists from 400 drama groups of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation joined the mega festival. A total of 302 dramas are scheduled to be staged in all the venues of BSA in those divisions and districts. Several plays will also be staged as street-drama. The finale would be held in Chattogram.
At the press conference, Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation's General Secretary Kamal Bayezid said, "In the year of Bangabandhu's 100th birthday, we are going to introduce an awakening – the awakening of Bengali culture and of a humane society. We are selecting dramas that centre around the liberation war and Bengali culture. We want this festival to reach peoples' doorsteps."
BSA's Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky mentioned, "We have named it a festival but it is not merely a festival, it is also a cultural movement. We have never arranged such a widespread festival before. Everyone is working hand in hand. We hope we'll be able to present a significant festival."