It is not that the audience is gone but there is no story being made
Samina Lutfa Nitra for DOT: Theater needs to be made watchable for staging, because when we were kids, there was always an annual play in school, all those who are in school are seeing that there is something called theater, it is not in our schools anymore. We think that we should start with the children, if children of today learn to love theater by watching it, then when they grow up they would love to be the audience. Our children are now far away from the theatre, because we cannot reach them.
That is why I think that the Ministry of Culture should take steps to arrange theater in schools. There are many students completing their studies in theater at universities all over our country, these students can help setup theaters in schools. They can do this in 64 districts where there are arts academies; schools in the district have at least one play a year. Once this list is created we will get automatic theater audience, in that case the theater becomes a part of their life, because they will be used to seeing theater from school, it will not seem like a foreign culture or someone else’s culture to them. In that sense, I think that theater work should be started from schools and colleges, it is not possible to go to people by performing theater/stage plays in 2/3 auditoriums in Dhaka city only. It’s not just that the audience is moving away from the theater. Audiences are moving away from civic theater as more and more devices come into our hands, but even then, since theater is a life performance art, it remains an act. If the story being told in the theater matches the contemporary situation, we can see the audiences attending that kind of play, it is not that the audience is gone but there is no story being made. Edited by Erfan Alam