Team Nattyamukh

Avi Chakraborty

Director, Ashokenagar Nattyamukh

Avi Chakraborty was born on 24th December 1980 in the refugee inhabited place called Ashokenagar in 24 Parganas (N). He lost his father quite early in his life. There was no inclination towards what is known as culture in his home. A graduate from Calcutta University in pure science at 2002.Avi was attracted towards theatre after he passed higher secondary. He thus got involved in theatre.

Having formed his own theatre group to practice theatre,at the initial stages he was busy with the organization of his group. In 1999 he started Ashokenagar Nattyamukh and at the same time started the theatre journal Nattyamukh Natyapatra. A different environment of theatre came in his group the centre of which was Nabhendu Sen.

Avi started his career as theatre director in 2005 with Bratya Basu’s ‘Operation 2010’. Avi and his group increased their knowledge of theatre in the presence of Bratya Basu. Bratya Basu’s ignited in him the dream of professional and meaningful theatre. Dealing with the subject of Indian football this play created a new sensation among the spectators and critics. And in his very first play Avi gave attention to selecting actors according to the characters. He did not, however, keep himself confined to theatre practice within his own group. The next year, 2006, having been invited by the group Protikriti, Avi brought to stage a poem of Manik Bandopadhyay on his birth centenary. Through this poem Avi brought on stage ‘Dibaratrir Gadyo’ where he touched issues like land struggle, land measurement, rape of a farmer’s wife, and farmer suicide.

After that issues from the Naxalite Movement to the Maoist Movement in West Bengal came into one of Avi’s plays. Adapted from a work by Abul Bashar this play is known as ‘Kagojer Nouko. In 2009 he did Abinindranath’s ‘Shiladityo’ dramatized by Sourav Gupta.

Having dealt directly with politics Avi seemed to be trying to understand his time under the garb of mythology. Following this his biggest work was Rabindranath’s ‘Muktodhara’ in 2011. . Again he returned to Rabindranath,now not a play directly but a play from a story: ‘Konya Tor’. After this in 2014 Avi again returned to political theatre directly. He made the play ‘Nemesis’ from contemporary writer Rabisankar Bal’s story ‘Toimurer Shashoner Poroborti Odhyay’. For the first time he brought in Rock music into Bengali theatre. Breaking a conventional myth surrounding theatre Rupam Islam and his band Fossils created a new musical language in this play.

Besides theatre creation Avi is also involved in a major way in editing a theatre journal and writing. ‘Nattyamukh Natyapatra’ has published 23 issues so far and he also edited documentation of 100 plays from the districts with the cooperation of Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Avi has been awarded through Ministry of Culture for junior fellowship award for the year of 2014-15. Not only that he also got many recognition like as journal editor by Ashokenagar Anwesha NatyaSamman – 2000, Drishti Natya Samman – 2002, Dharani Ghosh Smriti Puroshkar – 2004 and Natadha Natya Samman – 2012. Besides, as a director Avi has received awards like Big Bangla Rising Star Award (2011), Protikriti Natya Samman (2011), Udichi Natya Samman (2012) Charjapad Charukala Samman (2013), Howrah Bratyajan Natyasamman (2016, Balurghat Natyakarmi Natyasamman (2017). This year (2018) Avi got two prestigious award from Purba Paschim which name is Ramaprasad Banik Memorial award and other from Kalindi Bratyajan name is Bishnu Basu Memorial award. This year Avi also got another three award from Coaochbihar Anubhab, Sainthiya Wakeup and Asar Natyam . Avi has published two of his plays ‘DibaratrirGadya’ (2007) and ‘Bishchaya’ (2011) in book form. After that Avi’s another four new book “Ratbireter Raktapisach` , “Nay Natak` , 10 Sahitya and 10natak’ and ‘Love and Battle of Playhouse’ also published from “Book Farm”, “ Lal mati’ and “ Prastuti Theatre” by Saptarshi Prakashan. Avi’s play ‘Anyajanma’ produced by Balurghat Natyakarmi.

Avi has been involved in research for ten years to figure out how theatre can be involved into everyday teaching and learning. He has reached many schools and colleges with his process. He framed a ‘media course’ that ran at Gour University for one year. One of the leading University in Bengal and India, ABP Group’s ‘The Telegraph’,honoured him with an award in 2013 in recognition of this work. Avi’s book ‘Prastuti Theatre’ related to this will be launched soon .He left his job in an insurance company in 2011 and is now a full-time theatre worker and is a member of Pashchim Banga Natya Akademi from 2012.

Avi dreams of theatre’s own space and own language.

Sangita Chakraborty

Director, Ashokenagar Nattyamukh

Sangita had started her theatre career since 2000 as a founder member of Ashokenagar Nattyamukh. After completing diploma on Kathaak and Bharat Natyam dance from Chandigarh Prachin Kalakendra she completed her Master Degree (Master of Social Works) at 2015. And she always works with her subject (social work) through theatre practice. Work with non protected child last 5 year’s continuously and try to build them as a separate individual artist. Sangita also direct and co-ordinate lot of workshops at many college, school and theatre groups. She got very much involved with theatre and did central characters in several dramas for her own group Ashokenagar Nattyamukh like Trishna at Bole, Malati at Beulo, Mother at Operation 2010 written by Bratya Basu, Malati and Sandhya at Kagojer Nouko based on the novel of Abul Bashar, Amba at Muktodhara, Christine at Nemesis based on the great novel of Rabisankar Bal, Mejdi at Mrityu Iswar Jaunota written by Bratya Basu , Miss Ghosh and Ma-Tang at Ratbireter Raktapisach and got some special awards. At first she directed “Sujan Harbola” from the story of Satyajit Roy for her childhood school Adarsha Balika Vidyalaya. In the year 2013 she directed “Titli” from the story of Maupassant on behalf of Ashokenagar Bratyajan. Then she also direct Ganga Faring at 2014 for Ashokenagar Nattyamukh and directs a play based on Sister Nivedita’s life named Bharat Kanya at Ashokenagar Balika Vidyalaya with 80 students on occasion of 150 year’s birthday ceremony of Sister Nivedita. All drama has gotten very positive criticism and audience support.

Now she is busy to making children repertory under the umbrella of Ashokenagar Nattyamukh as a director and start her new project with them very soon. She is also busy with her own research based on Manasa Mangal (Folk Tell of West Bengal and many other state of India).

She is full time theatre worker and work as an artist at her own group Ashokenagar Nattyamukh.