In memory of the noted thespian Ishrat Nishat, the second edition of ‘Ishrat Nishat Natya Puraskar’ was handed over to the awardees for their work and performances of 2023 in the theatre arena at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently.
The awards were presented in nine categories, including –Best Production, Best Director, Best Playwright, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), Best Light Designer, Best Set Designer, Best Costume Designer, Best Music Designer, and Special Mention Award.
The jury board consisting of the country’s renowned theatre personalities Shafi Ahmed, Kamaluddin Kabir, Haroon Ar Rashid Khan, Debaprosad Debnath, Hridi Haq, Fahmida Haq Koli, Sadhana Ahmed, Kha Ma Harun and Nazrul Kabir watched and evaluated 33 plays staged in 2023 for the award.
Moderated by Tariq Anam Khan and MM Kamrul Hasan Rawnak, Ekushey Padak-winning actor Masud Ali Khan attended the award ceremony as chief guest, while theatre activist Mamunur Rashid attended the event as the special guest.
This year, theatre troupe Prachyanat’s 42nd production ‘Achalayatan’, directed by Azad Abul Kalam, bagged four awards. ‘Achalayatan’ won the Best Production Award and Azad Abul Kalam bagged the Best Director Award. Saiful Islam received the Best Set Design Award and Neel Kamrul received the Best Music Designer for ‘Achalayatan’.
Bakar Bakul received the Best Playwright Award for the theatrical production ‘Adam Surat’, while Fauzia Karim Anu received the Best Actor (Female) Award for Anuswar’s production ‘Hermachis Cleopatra’, Ramiz Razu received the Best Actor (Male) Award for Theatre Factory’s production ‘Respectful Prostitute’.
Anik Kumar received the Best Light Designer Award for Aarshinagar Dhaka’s production ‘Siddhartha’ while Jeenat Jahan Nisha and Nusrat Jahan Jisha received the Best Costume Design Award for ‘Siddhartha’.
The Best Production Award-winning theatre troupe received Tk 1 lakh as prize money, a crest and a certificate while winners in other categories each received a crest, certificate and Tk 25,000.
The Special Mention Jury Award was jointly won by theatre troupe Actomania for its debut production ‘Hamlet Machine’ and actor Morshed Mia.
The award was introduced in 2022 in memory of cultural activist Ishrat Nishat, who was associated with theatre troupe Desh Natak.