Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bhraymaman theatre --Assamese mobile theatre industry

Bhraymaman theatre

The mobile theatre of Assam (with annual turnover worth Rs 10 crores) that presents contemporary themes and adopts even Hollywood stories like the Titanic is extremely popular both in urban and rural areas of the state.

In Assam's entertainment arena, the festive season of Durga Puja is also the time for the 'carnival on wheels' to roll out with its 'magic', 'miracles' and much more 'up the sleeve'. The vastly popular mobile theatre companies (known as Bhraymaman theatre locally) launches their annual shows with stunts and emotional quotients packed together to make a winning combination of drama on stage.To match its unrivalled record of bringing to life what even filmmakers think twice before venturing into on reel, the mobile theatre companies of Assam have roped in contemporary issues – right from Saddam to Superman to vampires to dwarfs.Even Gabbar Singh and Sholay have got a new lease of life on Assam's stage though the much-vaunted Ram Gopal Varma's version got the boot from the public and critics alike. An industry in its own right with an annual turnover of over Rs 10 crore, the mobile theatre industry of the northeastern state has been entertaining the masses for the last few decades gaining in stature progressively.
In 1930, the Kohinoor Opera, the first mobile theatre group of Assam, was started by Natyacharya Brajanath Sarma. From Dhubri to Sadiya, from the north bank to the south bank of the Brahmaputra River, Kohinoor Opera performed its dramas, attracting thousands of spectators whi came to see Sarma perform. Apart from initiating a theatrical movement, the Kohinoor Opera introduced co-acting on the stages of Assam. In 1931, Brajanath Sarma, with the help of Phani Sarma introduced female actresses for the first time to appear in their drama productions at a time when male acting was completely dominant, revolutionizing the nature of Assamese theatre.

Though the mobile theatre of Assam has certain things in common with the Jatra of West Bengal – for example, the roving nature and performance on makeshift stages – the Assam productions put in much more effort for technical perfection and have evolved from depictions of mythological stories to themes of contemporary nature. Adaptation of ever-new themes and an eye to changing interests have ensured that the mobile theatre genre does not lose its appeal to the young audience either. With the Assamese film industry in a deep slumber, the plays have also provided the artistes another platform to showcase their talent.

The glamour quotient in these plays is ensured as Assamese film stars take up lead roles. It thus vindicates the significant place the mobile theatres hold in the media and entertainment industry in the state. Most of the groups start their tour mid-August and wind up by April. The rehearsals start from June, with the entire unit camping together till the end of the season. Technology forms a very important role in these show-stealers. From sinking the Titanic to making the Anaconda crawl to recreating the Jurassic Park, the mobile theatre groups have 'been there, done that'. Even Princess Diana's tragic death has featured in one of the plays. A leading group, Kohinoor, which has an enviable record for wowing the audience with innovative technical feats on stage, has a dwarf up its sleeve this season. In its banner play this year – Abuj Dora, Achin Kainya – the group is staging the tale of a dwarf and his two lookalikes of normal physical height. A top actor from the Assamese film industry, Jatin Bora, has been roped in for the role. Transforming the six-feet-tall Bora to a dwarf for one of the three characters is no mean feat. The play has similarities with the Kamal Hassan starrer Apu Raja, but the producers maintain that the similarities are only to the extent that both have lead actors in the role of a dwarf. From lighting effects to specially tailored clothes with help from Mumbai, the producers of Kohinoor have spared no cost to ensure that the effect is complete. And it has paid off well too. Already, it is breaking records in revenue collection wherever it performs.Last year, the group had staged a play with an actress in a double role, with her even appearing 'together' several times on stage!

Play on Titanic

On the social content in his plays and accusations that they play to the gallery rather than propagate social values, Kohinoor owner Ratan Lakhar says, "Titanic was followed by a play on the life of 'Kalaguru' Bishnu Rabha the next year. Bishnu Rabha is a cultural icon of Assamese society and greatly admired. There were few takers for the play. We have a business to run and along with producing plays with social content, we have to make plays which pull crowds." "The plays always have a message for the masses, even though it is wrapped in a package of entertaining gimmicks," he adds. Incidentally, the stage adaptation of Titanic was done by Ratan's group. On the urban-rural preferences of theatre audiences, he says that people's expectation from theatre is not different in cities from that in villages or small towns.
"Cities draw as much crowds as the smaller venues and the arrival of the cine stars on stage has added to the glamour quotient of the theatres. We pull more crowds now," he says. A desi version of Superman is also making his appearance on the stage in Aashirbad theatre's play. The protagonist is set to fly around the stage with an outfit with special powers. Evil forces figure as a Dracula-inspired vampire in a production by the Deboraj theatre group. The vampire, more than 250 years old, sucks the blood of his victims. The group brings alive the blood sucking scenes in the play with technical help.

And if RGV's Aag left you with a sour taste, then check out the stage adaptation of Sholay by Rajashri Theatre this season. Varma's attempts to divert from the original masterpiece may have fallen flat on its face, but the producers in Assam are happy sticking to the old plot and style. From the famous motorbike ride to the train dacoity sequence of the original film, Rajashri Theatre has aptly translated on stage the magic of the blockbuster from the Sippy stable. The mobile theatre groups of Assam have not just entertained the masses; they have also chosen contemporary topics and personalities as themes for their plays. This year too, the Saraighat theatre group is staging a play based on Iraq's executed former ruler Saddam Hussein. Many plays by different groups have also helped spread social messages, from terrorism to AIDS, through their productions. Bollywood, and Hollywood stories to some extent, however, are major inspirations for many of the plays. Among motley of such plays this year is one based on the life of a robber, an expert in breaking lockers, staged by the Bhagyadevi group. A host of films, from Dhoom 2 to the remade Don to Cash and Victoria No. 203 have figured as inspiration for many of these plays. But the difference is the playwright has adapted it to suit local sentiments.The mobile theatre groups are striking the right balance between entertainment and social content till now, and the growing popularity of the plays even among the youngsters in urban areas prove that they are hitting the right chord.

Assam's travelling theatres are playing to packed audiences in both urban and rural areas despite jazzed up cinema complexes and cable television.About three years ago, the state produced about a dozen-odd Assamese language films annually. However, this has dwindled to naught with moviegoers growing scarce. With regional cinema in the doldrums, actors, musicians, directors and technicians found an alternative livelihood in the highly popular mobile theatres.The theatres, which belong to a tradition stretching back more than four centuries, have multiplied to over 30.It would have been a silent death for hundreds of people involved in the Assamese film industry but for the mobile theatres. Actors, musicians, directors and technicians are today earning more from mobile theatres than they did from films,' he added.Like Ahmed, there are other filmmakers and actors who once ruled the silver screen but are now working in mobile theatres. Thousands of people prefer to sit in grassy fields to watch the plays with themes ranging from contemporary events to mythologies, Greek tragedies, Shakespearean plays and Indian classics. 'It is indeed a matter of great pride to find mobile theatres being able to captivate so many people despite modern cinemas and a variety of television channels available to the audience,' said Arun Sharma, a noted Assamese playwright and Sahitya Akademi award winner.The modern commercial form, which emerged in the late 1960s, has clung to its community roots with troupes often performing 10-minute sketches before the main show on subjects like AIDS and drug abuse. The troupes themselves are mini communities, each comprising more than 100 actors, technicians, cooks and general helpers, who travel together on the road for eight straight months beginning August and perform on the stage in villages and cities across the state.'An average 800 to 1,000 people watch a show and that in itself is an indication of the popularity of the mobile theatres,' said Biswa Saikia, owner of one of the theatre groups.Some productions were such hits that dozens of foreign television crews and journalists trailed the travelling theatre groups through slush and mud in the interiors of Assam. The staging of plays like 'Lady Diana', 'Titanic' and the re-creation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York were instant hits. Encouraged, the travelling troupes have started introducing innovations in their productions by way of lighting and other technical expertise. 'Today, with filmmakers directing on stage and star actors performing as stage artistes, the quality and sophistication of the mobile theatres have gone up. Stage plays with special effects look like a movie,' said set designer Tarun Das. The groups contribute almost 40 percent of their income to local education and other community projects - another reason for the people's acceptance of the travelling theatres over other modes of entertainment.

Play on Osama bin Laden

Far from the lost twin towers of lower Manhattan, a play on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by a traveling band of actors kept audiences spellbound in a remote corner of India.
Thousands of men, women and children are crowding into a huge canvas tent in Nazira, a small town in northeastern Assam state, to watch two dozen actors dressed in Afghan-style shirts and turbans recreate Taliban country in a play called "Usama bin Laden." A hush descends on the audience as the stage lights focus on a cave, where an actor playing bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, gets Taliban fighters to pledge to the destruction of America.
As the scene fades, another part of the stage lights up on a young American soldier, whose life takes a dramatic turn when he's asked to join U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Traveling on foot, or on bicycles or by bus, the spectators begin lining up for tickets hours before the two daily shows in this sleepy town, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Gauhati, Assam's capital.
"Even children have heard of bin Laden. It's curiosity that has made me come," said Dilip Bordoloi, a college teacher among some 4,000 people packed into the tent for the Sankardev Theater's performance last Sunday. Outside the tent on a soccer field, vendors sell buttered popcorn and pink cotton candy as balloons bob among the throngs waiting for tickets. Within weeks of the events of Sept. 11, Biswa Saikia, a stocky man in his late forties who set up the theater group 10 years ago, decided to adapt the events surrounding the attacks for the stage.
"We have succeeded in exposing the fact that bin Laden was actually using Islam to further his own vicious goals and thrust what I call 'Ladenism' in the name of jihad, " said director Sewabrata Borua.

The two-hour play in the local Assamese language, with a sprinkling of English and live keyboard music, is performed on adjoining stages.

"The play's message is loud and clear: Islam does not preach violence. It has been used and projected like that by the likes of bin Laden," said scriptwriter Samarendra Barman, a Hindu.
Like much of India, the actors and audience are a mix of Muslims and Hindus who work and live together with ease. And like the leaders of this South Asian nation, the audience backed the Americans and scorned the acts of the Taliban and bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network.
Some in the audience threw up their hands in anger and hid their faces when Taliban fighters were depicted killing two Afghan teenagers.

"I'm not much of a theatergoer. But I decided to see 'Laden' after reading so much about his terror acts," said Minoti Bora, a college student. "I got a fair idea of how bad the Taliban was."
The Sankardev Theater group is a small community of some 100 actors, technicians, cooks and assistants who are on the road for an eight-month season beginning each August.
"I have not seen even a single television image of the twin towers being attacked and crashing," said Pranab Sarma, who plays bin Laden.

"But I read up whatever newspaper clippings I could and plastered the walls of my home and our camp with Laden's photographs. I used to look at these pictures before I slept each night."
Jita Saikia, playing an Afghan woman whose family is killed by Taliban raiders, moved audience members to close their eyes and hang their heads in sadness.

"Her powerful acting gave us an idea about the Taliban, how they could kill a boy because his mother would not let him join the Taliban troops, or commit atrocities on a family for letting their daughters go to school," said Arati Bhuyan, a homemaker, after seeing the play.
Apart from powerful themes, traveling theaters in Assam are famous for their ingenious special effects. In the bin Laden play, cardboard helicopters fly onto the stage with tail lamps blazing. Half-a-dozen American commandos, played by actors in full battle gear, shimmy down ropes onto the stage as tanks roll into the battle zone.

The play ends with the triumph of good over evil as the Afghan housewife with the support of American and northern alliance soldiers, enters a Taliban hideout. In a twist on recent history, she helps rescue a kidnapped American journalist who had been taken hostage.
With a burst of flames, the play concludes with two jetliners slamming into the World Trade Center. The audience does not boo or cheer.

"Terrorism is a global menace," Jagadish Barman, a veterinarian, said as he walked out. "What I liked most about the play, aside from the performance, is its message against violence and the gun culture."

Plays on Superman, Anaconda, Saddam, Dhoom2, Don

At a time when films have stolen the theatre audiences, what better way to get back than adapt cinema to stage? Believe it or not, Assam's mobile theatre groups are doing just that. Be it Superman or Dhoom 2 and Don, they are freely yet innovatively drawing inspiration from cinema.

An industry in its own right, with an annual turnover of over Rs 10 crore, the mobile theatres have been entertaining the masses as also helping in spreading social messages, from terrorism to AIDS.Though the mobile theatre (known as Bhraymaman theatre locally) has certain things in common with the Jatra of West Bengal, like their mobile nature and performance on make-shift stages, the Assam productions put in much more effort for technical perfection and have evolved from being depiction of mythological stories to adapting latest themes as subject matter.
From sinking the Titanic to making the Anaconda crawl to recreating the Jurassic Park, the mobile theatre groups have 'been there, done that'. And they are now all geared up with their annual 'dose of miracles on stage'. Most of the groups start their tour from mid-August and wind up by April. The rehearsals start from June, with the entire unit camping together since then till the end of the season

A leading group, Kohinoor, which has a wonderful record of wowing the audience with innovative technical feats on stage, has a dwarf up its sleeve this season. In its play Abuj Dora, Achin Kanya (Untutored Groom, Unknown Bride) this year, the group will stage the tale of a dwarf and his two look-alikes of normal physical proportions.

A top actor of the Assamese film industry, Jatin Bora has been roped in for the role. Bora, a six- feet tall actor, will be transformed into a dwarf for one of the three characters he would be playing. From lighting effects to specially tailored clothes and a little help from Mumbai technicians, the producers of Kohinoor have spared no cost to ensure that the effect is complete.
The best-known attempt at playing a double role, one of them being that of a dwarf, was made by Kamal Hassan in Appu Raja. No such known professional attempt has perhaps been made in the history of Indian theatre. The dwarf in Appu Raja was a joker, as is Jatin in the play. But the producer stresses that the similarity ends there. While Jatin will be seen as a circus joker in the role of the dwarf, his other two roles in the play will be that of a police officer and an actor. The group had last year staged a play with an actress appearing 'together' several times on stage.
A desi version of Superman will also make its appearance on stage in Aashirbad theatre's play. The protagonist would fly around the stage with the acquired powers from an outfit with special powers.The evil forces would also have their share of stage in Deboraj theatre group. A Dracula-inspired vampire of more than 250 years of age would suck the bloods of his victims. The group promises to bring to life the blood sucking scenes in the play with technical help.The mobile theatre groups of Assam have not just entertained the masses, but also chosen contemporary topics and personalities as theme for their plays. From spreading awareness about AIDS to presenting the life of Princess Diana, the mobile theatre groups have rarely left untouched any topic of the slightest importance.This year, too, a play based on Iraq's executed former ruler Saddam Hussein would be performed by the Saraighat theatre group. Though most of the plays have strong social content, a few are also inspired by Bollywood and Hollywood, which had even led to terrorist threat against the groups. But far from subduing under the threat, theatre owners have given writers a green signal to draw from their cinematic cousins.
Among motley of such plays this year is one based on the life of a robber, an expert in breaking lockers, to be staged by the Bhagyadevi group. A host of such films, from Dhoom 2 to the remade Don to the just released Cash, have more than one point of similarity with the play. But the playwright has adapted it to suit the local sentiments and is expected to be a major money-spinner for the group this season.
The mobile theatre groups are striking the right balance between entertainment and social content till now, and the growing popularity of the groups even among youngsters in urban areas promises a rosy future for them.

Ankiya Nat --One-act play

The Bhakti movement has deeply influenced many forms of traditional performing arts prevalent in Eastern India. In Assam it inspired the superb Anktanat. In fact, all the plays in the repertory of this theatre are one-act plays and they are called Ankiya Nat.
1. This is one of the very few surviving traditional performing arts prevalent in Eastern India.2. Ankiya Nat sinks all differences between religious ritual and aesthetic activity.3. Ankiya Nat once enjoyed high patronage from different levels but today it is a victim of indifference. It is necessary to arrest this decay.

Essential elements of the performing art
Music, Dance, Theatre

To a casual onlooker, who cannot go beyond the periphery, Ankiya Nat may appear only as a form of ritual theatre. Sensitive theatergoers, however, will find that it touches those aesthetic heights from which religiosity and secularity do not look antithetical.

No less than a genius can conceive of a theatre that sinks all differences between religious ritual and aesthetic activity, and then makes the disciplined sublimity of classical arts and the emotional immediacy of folk arts walk together hand in hand. Such a form of theatre is Ankiya Nat and Shankaradeva is the genius who conceived and shaped it towards the second decade of the 16th century. He was a saint-aesthetic, subscribing to Vaishanavism but with a difference.
The elements drawn from the folk forms of music, dance and drama not only broadened the range of appeal, but gave Ankiya Nat its unmistakable Assamese character. Amongst folk forms which influenced him most are Ojhapali, a fascinating form combining elements of balladry, dance and drama: Dhulia, a form of group singing and dancing, Bhaoria, balladry, and Putlanach, the traditional marionette theatre of Assam. The fusion of all these diverse elements and influences to mould a powerful dramatic alloy surely required a sensitivity which Shankaradeva had.

The bhawna, that is, the performance of Ankiya Nat, traditionally takes place in a specially constructed theatre hall called rabha or bhawna-ghar. If such a pandal is not there, then one is improvised, or it is performed under a canopied enclosure. The performance is presented at the centre of the hall and spectators sit on all four sides.

Famous Assamese Theatre personalities

Phani Sarma

The theatrical career of Phani Sarma started as a gatekeeper of the women’s gallery of the prestigious Ban Stage situated at Tezpur. His father Molan Sarma was also an exponent of drama and was a good actor of Ban Stage. So along with his father, Phani Sarma regularly went to the Ban Stage and closely observed the perfect acting of a number of veteran actors like Indreswar Borthakur, Dr Lalit Mohan Chowdhury, Prafulla Borua etc. This inspired young Bolin (as Phani Sarma was popularly known) towards acting and had a deep impact on his future life. In 1928, he got the opportunity to act on the Ban Stage for the first time in the role of Akbar in the drama Rana Pratap. That was the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Phani Sarma.
In 1930, Phani Sarma joined the Kohinoor Opera, the first mobile theatre group of Assam, started by Natyacharya Brajanath Sarma. From Dhubri to Sadiya, from the north bank to the south bank of the Brahmaputra, Kohinoor Opera performed its dramas, attracting thousands of people. It’s main attraction was the superb acting of Phani Sarma. Apart from initiating a theatrical movement, Kohinoor Opera deserves the credit of introducing co-acting on the stages of Assam. In 1931, Brajanath Sarma, with the help of Phani Sarma introduced female actresses for the female roles of a drama. Prior to this, the female roles were played by male actors. This definitely brought about a new trend to the stages of Assam.
Phani Sarma played a significant role in the first Assamese feature film Joymoti made by Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwalla in 1933, where he played the role of Gathi Hazarika, the villain of the film. The brilliant acting of Phani Sarma in that role was a special feature of the film. Later he became popular as Gathi Hazarika. In Jyotiprasad’s second film Indramalati also, Sarma played an important role.

An innate actor, Phani Sarma was a blazing star in the theatrical world of Assam. With his tall figure which was perfect for the stage and his sonorous voice, he captivated entire Assam by acting in more than a hundred dramas in different characters. People who once had the opportunity of seeing the acting of Phani Sarma either on stage or on screen could never forget it. He was most appropriately and accurately called Natasurya (the Sun of drama) by the people of Assam.
With his extraordinary performances on the stage and screen, Phani Sarma earned many laurels and fame all over the State. But he was more brilliant as a playwright than as an actor. Though few in quantity, his dramas are very rich in quality. As an actor, he understood the limitations of a drama and therefore he laid more emphasis upon its dramatical side rather than the literary side. With a universal appeal and substance, all his dramas became very popular on the stage and were widely acclaimed by the critics.
On the basis of a rebellion that took place during the Ahom King Lakshmi Singha’s reign, as described by renowned historian Dr SK Bhuyan in his book Konwar Bidroh, Phani Sarma wrote a historical drama Bhogjara. It is worth mentioning here that the dramatical movement which started during the early part of the last century, set a new trend of staging dramas written by local dramatists, on a local plot. Jyotiprasad Agarwalla was the pioneer among such dramatists. With local plots, he wrote a number of dramas like Sonit Kunwari, Karengar Ligiri, Lobhita, etc. Following Jyotiprasad’s footsteps, Phani Sarma wrote a number of dramas with a plot quite familiar to the Assamese people. He drew only the skeleton of the drama Bhogjara from the above mentioned book. But with his own dramatical approach and treatment, Bhogjara became successful as a powerful drama.
In 1948 Sarma, along with Bishnu Rava made a feature film Siraj, based on a popular short story written by Deshapran Lakshmidhar Sarma. The success of the film later inspired him to write a drama titled Siraj. It was regarded as a document of Hindu-Muslim integrity as the memory of Partition was still fresh in the minds of the people. Phani Sarma himself played the title role of the drama on more than a hundred stages, mesmerizing people all over Assam. In our degenerated society, the story of Siraj is still relevant.
On the basis of his own experiences as an actor, Phani Sarma wrote a social drama Kiya. The Natasurya was an artiste who dedicated his own personal life and enjoyment only to entertain other people. But in return he got nothing from the society. This was the personal experience of Phani Sarma who got the sad news of his son’s death when he was acting on a stage in upper Assam. This bitter experience led him to write the drama Kiya. A socially responsible artiste, Phani Sarma became vociferous against corruption in his drama Nag-Pas. Similarly he protested against the social injustice and dominance of outsiders in our society in a humorous way in his drama Kola-Bazar. By translating JB Priestley’s famous drama An Inspector Calls into Assamese, he also enriched our dramatical literature.


Baharul Islam (born in 1963) graduated from *National School of Drama,
* Acting.He has acted Almost 60 plays in Different language- Assamese, Hindi and English.

In 1992-93 joined * TARA ART* of London as an Actor for the production of the play HEER RANJHA.The play rehearsed in London and thereafter extensively toured UK and Japan performing 56 shows.

Designed and Directed more than 30 plays-


* Yayati,*

* Saraighat**,*


*, Jatra,*

* Simar Sipare,*

* Guwahati Guwahati,*

* Holi,*

* Apeksha,*

* Court Marshal,*

* Moi premar pinjarat bandi*


Which has performed in different festivals including Bharat Rang Mahotsav, Nandikar, E z c c, Sangeet Natak Academy, Prithvi, Nehru Centre, PDA festivals etc.

Designed and directed a play in Kannada-

*MODOLA GITTI* for NINASAM REPERTORY COMPANY for the year 2003-2004.

Designed and Directed Edward Albee's *WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?*
For National School of Drama Repertory Company, New Delhi. (2006)


*OCTAVE 2006*- a Festival on North East at Pragati Maiden, New Delhi 7th to 14th March 2006, organized by Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.

Directed Anton Chekhov's play *SEAGULL for RANGAYANA Repertory Company, Mysore in July 2006.

Four Years experience in

Mobile Theatre (Bhrayamaman) in Assam as an Actor- Director with different groups-*Bhagyadevi, Kohinoor, Anirvaan* and *Meghdoot*. During the period, Directed 6 plays including *King leer, Oedipus the* *King * etc and performed almost 1200 shows with 16 plays.

Received *SANKSKRITI SAMMAN* from EKA ABONG KOEKJON publication, Guwahati



Wrote 4 plays- * JATRA, SIMAR SIPARE* (beyond the obvious),* APEKSHA *
and *Pana gaor tupat anisha *in Assamese language.

Wrote a book- * AKANTO MONERE* in Assamese on Dramatics in 2005.

Acted in many tele film, Serial and films in different language- Assamese,
Hindi and Kannada. Directed 1 feature Film *ASENE KONOBA HIYAT* (2000) in


Produced and directed several *IN HOUSE PLAY PRODUCTION* in DDK, Guwahati-

Worked as chief assistant director in *JIBONOR BATAT*- the 1st Assamese
serial, directed by Mridul Gupta.

Directed a short film *RANI GAIDENLEU* (1997) produced by *Girish Karnad on
behalf of DDK national as part of SWARAJ NAMA.*

Directed 1 documentary - *THE DHULIA AND* *PUPPET THEATRE IN ASSAM* (*1997*
),* * for DDK, Guwahati as *Commission Programme*.

Produced and directed a fiction *NISHANT* (6 episode) in 2003 for DDK, Guwahati as Commission Programme.

Produced and directed a Documentary *Assamese folk culture in the life of modern period* (4 episode) in 2005for DDK, Guwahati as *Commission Programme.


Acted in many Assamese feature films including








*MAYA, *

*ANTAHIN JATRA* etc and Radio plays regularly for 20years.

* * Worked with *MANI RATHNAM* in DILSE as Coordinator

Various Bhryaman Theatre companies of Assam


SEAGULL formed in 1990 at the initiative of a few theatre activists and someNSD graduates; SEAGULL has emerged as one of the prominent theatre troupe inthe entire region. The main objective of SEAGULL is to improve the existingstyle and form of Assamese theatre with systematic practice and training.

*The Activity-Wings of Seagull are*
1) Seagull Repertory Company.
2) Seagull Theatre Academy.
3) Publication Wing.
4) Working with Spastic children.
5) Organizing Theatre workshops.
6) Seagull Children Academy
7) Seagull Studio

Theatre Seagull has so far staged a number of plays like URUKHA, SARAI GHAT,TUGHALAQUE, ABHIMOINNU, PARASHURAM, JATRA, ANTIGONE, ASHAD KA EKDIN, A DOLLSHOUSE etc. Seagull has participated in many theatre festivals- *Sangeet Natak Academy),Bharat Rang Mahotsav-New Delhi, Prithvi Festival-Mumbai, Bahurupi-Mysore,Nandikar-Kolkata * etc with their plays. Doing WEEKEND THEATRE on every Sunday in winter season in Guwahati at theirown seagull Studio Theatre.

Ban Theatre, Tezpur

The first modern Assamese theatre hall, the Ban Theatre, was established in the year 1906.Many of the great modern Assamese dramas of Rupkunwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala and Natasurya Phani Sarma, were first staged here. The tradition continues till today.


Pathsala is often describes as the Hollywood of Assam for its big mobile theatre groups and regular performances of drama and other cultural activities round the year.


uddip talukdar said...

thanks for the well represented information here. this was much needed here. nice job.

Pranab said...

Nice info about assamese theatre, probably the outer world doesnot have any clue about our culture which is rich............... Bring up some more topics about Assam......

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