The Times Kolkata Litfest 2019 saw a Bengali session, Kolkata stage from Noti Binodini to modern times, where playwright and actor Bratya Basu and actress Sudipa Basu were the speakers. The session was moderated by Shekhar Sammadar.Opening the session, Shekhar asked Sudipa about the transition of women actors and playwrights from the Noti Binodini’s era to modern times. “All of us know something about Noti Binodini. And from her time till the present, I feel Usha Ganguli, though being a non-Bengali, has transformed the scene of Bengali theatre through her prolific work. Seema Mukhopadhyay’s play, Bikolpo, was also one of the pathbreaking plays in Bengali theatre. Both Usha and Seema have balanced their personal and work lives beautifully. In contemporary times, Arpita Ghosh and Ishita Mukhopadhyay are extremely impressive, and of course, there’s Sohag Sen.”
Talking about her favourite theatre actress, Sudipa mentioned the play, Alokanandar Putro Kanya, where Chitra Sen played the lead.
Bratya also highlighted the angle of sexual politics. “Actresses and prostitutes — people had linked these two even till the 19th century,” he said, while highlighting how society looked upon women who were part of the acting profession. He also discussed how playwright Girish Ghosh helped many young actors and actresses prove their mettle on stage. “I believe Kanan Devi has given us the identity of what we know as one of the first actresses in Indian cinema,” he added.
Bratya also talked about perspectives in acting. He mentioned, “If a person doesn’t like me the way I am, then he will also never like any character I portray on screen. No matter how brilliantly I act, I will be always be criticised by him or her. This is all about an individual’s perception.” The panel discussion also touched upon the need for theatre preservation through OTT platforms.
Source: Times of India