NATAK SHIKHI is a drama group enthusiasts aged between five
to fifteen who
take time off their academics to sharpen their acting ability
with all seriousness. It is a center for theater training and
production running for 12 years braving all odds. They perform
with equal ease and skill not only at the city Kolkata, but
in the suburbs and villages of Bengal as well as in other cities
like Hyderabad, Allahabad, Lucknow, Dhanbad, Bongaigaon, Gorokhpur,
Cuttack and so on. To us children’s drama does not mean staging
of fairy tales. Our productions are strikingly topical. Sometimes
it is grabbing of a green stretch by landshark, or how the urban
glitz spoils a boy who could speak to trees & bird freely.
Terrorism, international conflicts too are brought alive by
these little actors on stage. The basic idea is to show the
intrusion of the vices of the adults on the children’s world.
The troupe has kept on earning laurels from competitions within
and outside West Bengal. Telecast of their play has also done
by ETV Bangla.
Man behind the enterprise is Tapas Das, a veteran actor of Nandikar,
Gananatya and other theatre groups during eighties. Himself
the founder-director of the troupe, Das is a playwright too.
in 1957, Sri Tapas Das is a post-graduate in Life-Science &
in Education. Teaching is his profession & theater his passion.
Das had his acting debut at the age of seven. He joined Sailpik,
a theater group of Howrah when he was 19. He
never looked back since then. After a brief stint in training
at Paschim Banga NAtya Academy (West Bengal Drama Academy),
he began to appear regularly on stage. The Class-teacher in
Nandikar's "Football", and Paul Shal in "Barricade"
of Tripura Sanskriti Parisad are fondly remembered by the theater
enthusiasts. Das has also left his mark as Basu in the recent
Pratyasha Natyagosthi production "Tias" and as The
Old Father in "The News", a TV production of Chhandabharati.
Das's organising acumen is evident in the year-long theater
training camp organised in collaboration with DYFI, where he
was the Course-director. Das is an author too. He has three
collections of one-act plays - "Bhupaler Sanket",
"Tin Kishore Ekanko" & "Santir Janya"
to his credit. He writes columns for a number of theater magazines
like Group Theater, Asamoyer Natyabhabana, Pryag Patrika, Theater
Arnab etc. Telecast of his play "He Mahajiban" has
also done by ETV Bangla. Presently, he is involved in experiments
as writer-director in a theater group for children "Eso
Natak Shikhi" and in his school The Oriental Seminary.
On 18th Sept. 02 National Theater Conference at Cuttack has
honoured him by "Natyabhusan" for his work on children
theater. He was the only representative from India in the International
Seminar on Children's Thaetre at Stuttgart, Germany in June
(The Lethal Weapon)
– 44 min, Cast – 8, Staged – 30
Theme – The
minister of Prachinpur has constructed a lethal weapon.
The emperor of the neighboring country did the same
by stealing the formula. The child king with the help
of the shepherd girl and a bird unfolded the conspiracy
and destroyed the weapon.
Aankarog (The Drawing Disease of Bubun)
- 42 min, Cast- 6, Staged - 2
Theme - Little Bubun is obsesed
with drawing. Be it the time for homework or map pointing,
he goes on drawing the same picture. Once asked to write
an essay on childhood in the classroom, he causes a
flutter by drawing the picture of his dream. The family
Guruji's attempts fail to solve the problem. Then comes
in a psychiatrist. Does he find a way to cure the disease?