• The foray made by Prachyanat into the world of theater was soon to be recognized institutionally. Within a short time Prachyanat has come to be honoured with a number of awards of the country. A list of awards accorded to Prachyanat appears below.

  1. Best Theatre Group (Year 1999)

    Awarded By: Bangladesh Cinema Journalists’ Association

  1. Best Direction (For the play A Man For All Seasons) Nurunnahar Samad Theatre Award 1999

    Awarded By: Theatre Art Natyadal

  1. Best Production (For the play A Man For All Seasons) Nurunnahar Samad Theatre Award 1999

    Awarded By: Theatre Art Natyadal

  1. Best Light Design (For the play Koinna in the year 2001)

    Awarded By: Bangladesh Cinema Journalists’ Association.

    • Apart from these awards, Prachyanat’s contribution towards theatre in our country is well recognized which can be evidenced by the theatre group’s participation in all of the major theatre events of the country since 1999.

    • In 2000, Prachyanat was invited by the Bangla Academy, Dhaka to perform during its Language Movement Day celebration programme. Prachyanat’s participation in the Ganga –Jamuna Theatre Festival 2002, organized by Anik Theatre Group, Calcutta, India, was a tremendous success.

    • Prachyanat was accorded honourable reception by Nagorik Nattangan, Dhaka (1999); Nandan Theatre, Kushtia (1999); amikaran Theatre, Chittagong (2000); Annanya Theatre, Chandpur (2001); Chunarughat Cultural Council, Habiganj (2002); Kathakali Theatre, Sylhet (2002); Mitali Shangha (2002); Jahangirnagar Theatre, Dhaka (2003); Chekhov Theatre, Russian Cultural Centre, Dhaka (2003).

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    • Prachyanat brought Gondar or The Rhinoceros as its fourth full length production in 2003.

    • In the background of the story was Ionesco’s disgust when he saw how his friends slowly accepted totalitarianism during the German occupation of France and the play may be seen as a parable of a regimented society that lost their sense of conscience and individuality by becoming the thick-skinned animals or conformists. In the play Bérenger, an average middle-class citizen, stands alone in his choice to remain human, while the rest of the cast succumb to collectivism by transforming into the wild beasts. He quarrels with Jean, his best friend and Daisy, his pretty secretary. In the office Bérenger witnesses that the staff is gradually joining the rhinoceroses. Finally Daisy and he are the only human beings, and when Daisy too turns into rhinoceros, Bérenger decides to defend his humanity till the end.

    • Apart from the relevance of the message of the play for our time, Prachyanat was attracted to the play’s immense theatrical power. The Rhinoceros is generally thought to be a difficult play to produce, even by an accomplished company. The transformation of the characters into some strange and visibly grotesque requires a fine sense of acting and imagination on the part of the actors.

Original Play: Eugene Ionesco

Translation: Jahurul Haque

Direction: Towfikul Islam Emon

Set and Light Design: Md. Shaiful Islam

Asst. Direction and Costume Design: Towfikul Islam Emon

First Performance:

Number of Shows:

A scene from Koinna - a popular play by Prachyanat
Photo courtesy: Mumit Mahboob

    • Koinna or The Maiden was the third play produced by the group. Scripted by Murad Khan and directed by Azad Abul Kalam, the play saw huge success that was accorded to a new play in theatre recently. Based on a local myth of north-western part of Bangladesh, the play traces the mystery and imaginative creation that operates at the subconscious level of men. The play is not an exploration of the distinction between good and evil but rather a probing into the vary nature of man.

    • The play tells the story of some people of a remote village in Sylhet district. The people believe that they live under the spiritual protection of one “Koinnapir” who is still believed to inhabit the mossy-green water of a local pond as a fish, accessible only to Nior, the respected head and descendent of the house. Nior’s ways of practicing his belief is challenged by Sahebzada, leader of a more orthodox section of the community. Nior is finally able to evade the conflict by an apparent act of self-annihilation which is also seen as his spiritual and moral victory.

    • However, the play is not simply a man’s spiritual history, rather the play is a powerful evocation of the life a community who apparently exist at the periphery of a technological society but whose life and belief system shows us that life’s truths are manifold and sometimes the truth may elude rationality.

    • The play has been seen by many of the theatre reviewers and critics as a powerful use of myth translated into a modern image.

Script: Murad Khan

Direction: Azad Abul Kalam

Set and Light Design: Md. Shaiful Islam

Asst. Direction and Costume Design: Towfikul Islam Emon

First Performance:

Number of Shows:

A Theatrical Biography of Sir Thomas More

    • In 1999 Prachyanat took out its second full length play and this time it would be a translation of a modern British playwright ─ Robert Bolt. The decision to produce A Man For All Seasons came as surprise to many because the general tone and subject matter of the play was a little too serious in nature. However, this play was very well received in spite of its treatment of a period of British history with which our audience is barely familiar.

    • The play is about the life and times of Sir Thomas More ─ member of the Privy Council, Speaker of House of Commons, and Chancellor of the Exchequer ─ who was ultimately decapitated at the order of Henry VIII. Through a portrayal of Sir Thomas’ public duty, spiritual quest and private agonies the play foreshadows the hero’s canonization by the Roman Catholic Church in 1935.

    • “When a man takes an oath,” Sir Thomas explains to his daughter Margaret in a soul-searching scene, “he’s holding his own self in his hands. Like water.” He cups his hands. “And if he opens his fingers then — he needn’t hope to find himself again. Some men aren’t capable of this, but I’d be loath to think your father one of them.”

    • “A Man for All Seasons” is the dramatized biography of Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor, statesman, and Member of the Privy Council. Today Sir Thomas is more remembered for his few political writings ― Utopia, most famous among these. The original script was prepared by the British playwright Robert Bolt and translated into Bengali by Shahed Iqbal. This was for the first time that a Robert Bolt play was produced in Dhaka. The play was co-sponsored by the British Council, Dhaka.

    • It would not be an exaggeration to claim that translated plays rarely, if ever, attain the stature, which this Prachyanat production has been able to achieve. A modern directorial strategy and set, light and costume design faithfully reconstructed the time and its ambient conflict.

Script: Robert Bolt

Bengali Translation: Shahed Iqbal

Direction: Azad Abul Kalam

Set and Light Design: Md. Shaiful Islam

Asst. Direction and Costume Design: Towfikul Islam Emon

First Performance:

Number of Shows:

This was the first full-length play by the group and was quickly recognized as one of the major productions of the year. The yearly publication of International Theatre Institute (ITI) in 1998 singled out Circus Circus as the most promising new play by a new theatre group.
The outline of the play can be told in following terms. “The Great Bengal Circus” once enjoyed widespread fame under its founder owner Laksman Das. The company is now being managed by his brother, who rebuilt the company that was ravaged during the liberation war of 1971In the course of events, the company arrives at a village to put up a show. The company is plagued by a number of problems ─ unskilled performers, strained relationship and rivalry among the members etc. As if to worsen the situation, members of a fundamentalist religious group threatens to stop the show. The hostility is growing not only outside but also from within. In such a precarious moment the fundamentalists unleashes a reign of anger and hatred. “The Great Bengal Circus” is totally gutted in the fire along with its three players and all its animalsScript and Direction: Azad Abul KalamAsst. Direction and Costume Design: Towfikul Islam Emon

First Performance:

Number of Shows

    About eight years ago a handful of young theatre enthusiasts came to realise that, in order to give shape to some their common ideas about art and theatre in particular, they should work from a common platform. The result was the floating of a new theatre group in February 1997 with the name Prachyanat.

    However, from the very outset these youthful dreamers wanted that this new group should not become a mere addition in the already crowded theatre scenario of Dhaka. As a result of the tireless efforts of the members of Prachyanat, many of its dreams have now flowered into reality.

    Apart from producing four full-length plays, all of which have been critically acclaimed and appreciated by the theatre lovers at home and abroad, Prachyanat now has as many as eight different programmes ─ all of which in one way or the other, keeps alive the passion for artistic creativity.

    Besides producing three very successful plays by some of the foremost professionals of the country, another crowning success of Prachyanat is the establishment of Prachyanat School of Acting and Design in the year 2001. The school, only second of its kind in the country, has successfully run four 6-month courses while its fifth batch is already under way.

    This very young theatre group did not have to wait for long before institutional recognition came its way. Within two years of its existence, Prachyanat was allowed the distinction of being the best theatre group for the year 1999. Awards and other distinctions were quick to follow ─ such as The Best Theatre Group, The Best Play of the Year, The Best Light Design.

    The most important thing this group is their dynamism and this daringness induced the group to come up with new areas of activity.  The Theatre in the Open, Prachyanat for Children, Theatre–lab Production, Prachyanat Research Cell, and the Musical Ensemble ― are all part of the group’s creative approach. Prachyanat’s future plan includes a fully equipped theatre centre that will become a hub of all its theatre activities.

Perhaps the sole justification of theatre creation is that it is one of man’s oldest creative acts. For centuries theatre has been able to recreate men’s most cherished ideals on the “empty space” and in spite of the imagined or real threats of extinction in the age of celluloid, television and finally internet, theatre is still alive will all its vitality and challenges.

But theatre inevitably needs to be brought to life by the voice and movement of living actors who build up a performance out of the dead pages of a text. What an audience hears and sees in the theatre is the product of the originating mind of the author, of the careful study and imaginative projection of the play by the director and of the equally careful study and interpretation of every detail of the various parts by the actors themselves. However, it is the imaginative participation of the audience that breaths life into any successful performance. In the end theatre becomes a celebration of collective imagination.

As theatre is truly a social product, so theatre invites a re-examination of social life. Theatre makes it possible for the interaction between the old and the new to take place in a way which is unique among all the other art forms. The old truth is uttered in the new time under the new garb and under the new lingo of the contemporaneous. In this way theatre often involves the rediscovery of the old myths in modern terms. Theatre cannot help but be socially committed.

Theatre is fundamental to human nature as it is the oldest of arts and includes all of the arts. Theatre is ephemeral and immediate. The joy of theatre lies in its immediacy, but the sadness of theatre is that the joy is fleeting. And yet paradoxically this fleeting image of life captures the eternal truths of life.