Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation was founded on 29 November 1980 in dhaka. The chief objectives of the federation are (i) to safeguard the professional interest of theatre personalities and to create opportunities for them; (ii) to develop drama; (iii) to free drama from bureaucratic control; (iv) to mobilise public opinion against laws violating fundamental rights; (v) to take active steps to establish permanent stages in different parts of the country; (vi) to nurture the ideology of group theatre; (vii) to inform drama with social purpose; (viii) to publish materials related to drama; (ix) to establish a theatre museum; (x) to arrange workshops at national and international levels; (xi) to arrange national drama festivals; and (xii) to adopt welfare programmes for people associated with theatre.

The head office of the Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation is in Dhaka. Three committees conduct the activities of the federation: general committee, central committee and executive committee. The general committee comprises representatives taken from each member group theatre. It directly elects 35 members of the central committee, 19 members of which form the executive committee. One of the 6-member board of chairpersons is selected as its chairperson and one of the 12-member board of secretaries is selected as its secretary general.

From its inception, the federation has played an active role in developing cultural awareness among the masses and encouraging the growth of a theatre culture. It has also taken part sometimes in political movements, for example, coming forward to create public opinion against President hussain muhammad ershad in 1990 through street drama, street processions and various cultural functions. The federation has also played a vital role in arousing public awareness against communal feeling. Each year the Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation collaborates with the bangladesh centre of the international theatre institute to celebrate World Theatre Day. The federation also publishes a quarterly journal, Group Theatre. [Zillur Rahman John]