Sreejansena

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Sreejansena (Sreejan = Creation, Sena = Army) is a Siliguri-based Group Theatre that specialises in Pathya Natya (Theatre on Syllabus) or theatre that is based on texts in school syllabus, played by students and viewed by them.

The idea is similar to School Theatre projects, theatres by students, that have gained momentum in various parts of West Bengal. However, Pathya Natya dramas are based on stories or poetries from students' text books.

History[edit]

Sreejansena was founded by a group of students from Siliguri Institute of Technology in 1993. The idea behind the formation of the group was to practice leftist art and culture. Besides, the members wanted to prove that theatre helps improve an individual's personality and communication skills without disrupting his/her career interests.

The group was officially formed on 16 August, 1993. 16 August is the birth anniversary of Bengali poet Sukanta Bhattacharya who is associated with revolutionary youthfulness. The group functioned from the residence of its director Mr. Partha Pratim Mitra (Murari) at 26 Sisir Bhaduri Sarani, Kshudirampally, Siliguri. The group never had a permanent office or space for rehearsal. The central yard of the Gouri Shankar Market at Bidhan Road served as the rehearsal ground for first few years. Then, the members shifted to a makeshift rehearsal room near Kanchanjunga Stadium. Classrooms of Nilnalini Primary School and the basement of Mitra Sammilani Hall have been used occasionally.

The group set a number of new trends in running a group theatre. Notable among them are : involvement of young students, collective direction in theatre productions, and, prompt reaction in any socio-political situation.

Activities[edit]

Sreejansena is chiefly an amateur theatre group. It practices both proscenium and street theatre. Third Theatre Movement, as advocated by Badal Sarkar, has influenced Sreejansena's theatre language. Ujaan (based upon The Rising of the Moon by Lady Gregory) was the first proscenium drama. Amitava Kanjilal, Subhojit Majumder, Debjit Dutta and Prabir Chatterjee were the first actors. Achinta Dutta and Jayanta Jana handled the lights while Amitava Ghosh operated sound effects. The drama was staged on Dinabandhu Mancha.

The annual general programme of the group is named Sahaswar (Saha = Together, Swar = voice) that translates into 'collective voice'.

References[edit]