From Assam with Love is about all aspects of Assam from the viewpoint of a Proud Assamese.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Assamese Theatre: plays, actors and actresses and survival

Assamese theatre is best known as Mobile theatre(Bhramyomaan Theatre=moving theatre parties). Theatre has been one of the most revered form of art and entertainment in Assam. In fact it has been a inspiration of many researches because of its mobile characteristics, reason of flourishing over the time, survival inspite of tough competition from cinema, video CDs, and cable TV channel which offer much more entertainment 24 hours.

What is special about Assamese mobile theatre

In no other place of India mobile theatre(I'm not sure may be in the world) has attained and retained so much mass popularity at this time and age. So what is behind the success of Assamese theater groups is definitely a matter of research. It is not very hard to guess that good stories, better production techniques, very good performers who can drive the public crazy and last but not the least adaptability with changing time has made Assamese theatre a successful form of art and entertainment as well.

Assamese theatre actors and actresses

However my today's point is Assamese theatre actors and actresses, who also share the credit for the popularity of Assamese theatre. To make a theatre successful today, mass appeal along with good performing skills very very important. The celeb value of the actor and actress is also very important. And despite the hardship the actors and actresses need to undergo while working and keeping themselves away form family (Here the whole theater group including all the artiste and technicians should get good appreciation for this cause). Definitely the pay package of start actor and actresses has to be attractive for this and only renowned theater groups can afford star actors and actresses. But famous actresses like Seema Biswas are from Assamese theater and their incredible acting skills has uplifted the status of Assamese theatre.

Themes and plays in Assamese theatre

A still from Julius Caesar: Seagull Theatre (photo courtesy Baharul Islam)
Along with star actors and actresses very good production houses like Kohinoor, Hengul etc have created very high pedestral for Assamese theatres with great stories. Renowned Assamese director and playwright Dr Bhabendranath Saikia were attached to Kohinoor theater and in those days the popularity of theater was at its pinnacle. Along with Dr Saikia sir, some other successful playwright of Assamese Theatre are Sevabrat baruah, Mahendra Borthakur, Munin Baruah, Abhijit Bhattacharya, Dhrubajyoti Sarma etc. Other flourishing theater groups of Assam that impressed audience with good presentation and stories were Srimanta Sankardev, Jyotipurupa, Bordoisila, Bhagyadevi etc#.   After that a phase had come when theatre survived with lots of gimmick by adapting successful Hollywood ventures like Titanic, Anaconda etc or incorporating sensational events like Indian plan Hijack drama in theater. Though creativity was lacking in such kind of plays one can vouch for the techniques used in stage theater and the mass appeal which is very important.

The glorious history of survival and flourish of theater in Assam definitely needs to be chronicled. Couple of years back I have read one novel written on Assamese theater by Manikuntala Phukon Bhattacharya who is a very famous author now. It was a research-oriented story based on Theatre in Assam. 'Moi Desdemona Hobo Khujo'(I want to be Desdemona). It reflects life of artistes and theatre personnels on and off the stage. A must read for novel-buffs as well as for those who want to know about Assamese theatre.


#wiki link for the Assamese mobile Theatre groups

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