Secretary General of BTA

Babul Biswas

Institutionally Babul Biswas has been associated with theatre since 1982. He started this aesthetic journey by joining Aryanak theatre group, one of a number in Bangladesh. He initially thrived as a theatre activist, stage planner, and an actor. Gradually he got into writing plays. Writing and editing research books is his inimitable expertise. In time he devoted himself collecting information and data on theatre, which in turn sourced him to be linked with international theatre. Babul Biswas presently stands at the wide threshold of theatre world. He has to his credit three plays themed on Bangladesh Liberation War—Honon, Poramati and Thikana. Different playwrights/performers have given theatrical forms to many of Tagore’s short stories, novels, rhymes, poems, essays, and letters in different parts of Bangladesh. Babul Biswas has collected, compiled and published almost all of them in six volumes. The edited compilation is titled—Natyarupe Rabindranath. Presently in Bangladesh theatre posters have earned the status of an artistic form. Babul Biswas collected 100 such posters produced between 1970 and 2000 by different theatre groups and published them in a volume with archival research write ups, titled Art of Bangladesh through Hundred Theatre Posters. He is presently Archive Secretary of International Theatre Institute (ITI) Bangladesh Centre. He also happens to be Publication Secretary of World ITI. The work that has made him the midpoint of discussion at home and abroad is his effort to dig out, collect, document and preserve information, statistics and data on Bangladesh stage theatre that seemed to have lost in the deep abyss of time and found an archive.

His has been engaged in this endeavor since 1986. He came in close loving contact with a number of famous stage performers of the subcontinent including renowned actor-director Utpal Dutt who in particular suggested him to initiate such an archival mission and that gradually immersed him head over heels into the task of theatrical documentation. He in turn enthused him to study the history of drama and spend the prime time of his life in restoring Bangladesh dramatic chronicles. Till this date he is engaged in the same work and has built a huge archive in the name and style of Bangladesh Theater Archives amassing information and data by visiting remote corners of Bangladesh in person. The Archive has a preservation of enormous invaluable information and documentation on drama manuscripts, photographs, posters, souvenirs, entry-tickets, books on drama and hand writings of celebrity theatre activists, playwrights, actors, directors and performers. This institution is pragmatically benefiting researchers across the country and world at large, which has brought Babul Biswas a lot of global approbation. The Archive has so far arranged 50 exhibitions on theatre documentation and data, which is perhaps a remarkable achievement on the part of an establishment like this. These have, no doubt, tremendously helped furthering the knowledge of the present generation theatre activists—it is imperative that heritage needs to be conserved to know the real history of a nation, and sans history a nation has no roots. Being the founder Director and General Secretary of Bangladesh Theater Archives Babul Biswas is working tirelessly to conserve this legacy.