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Home Reviews Atlanta Theater Workshop Enthrall The Audience

Atlanta Theater Workshop Enthrall The Audience

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::Dr. Soumitra Chattopadhyay, Marietta, Georgia::


On March 2, 2013 Atlanta Theater Workshop ( presented their third theatrical production, a Bengali comedy, “Ballabhpurer Roopkatha” (A Fairytale of Ballabhpur) at the 14th Street Playhouse in Midtown, Atlanta. This play by Padma Shri Badal Sarkar (1925 – 2011) who was also a recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy award is very well-known and has been translated and performed in many Indian languages.

The story revolves around the life of a poor descendant of a royal family, fondly called “Rajababu” by his neighbors.  He lives in the ruins of his ancestral palace that he desperately wants to sell to raise the money he needs to pay off his debt and start his own practice as a dentist.  The possibility of a prospective buyer interested to pay a visit leads to all the comedy situations.  The story has a lot of twists and turns, leading to an interesting climax.

All the components of the production from acting to lighting to sound to set design to props were very well executed and it was hard to believe that the actors are not professionals. Each and every one seemed as if born to the play the role. It will only be fair to mention all their names. They are in order of appearance Richa Sarkar, Arunava Saha, Anindya Mukherjee, Kanti Das, Kallol Nandi (also the Stage Manager), Santanu Bose, Joy Bhattacharya, Achintya Dey, Urmi Dutta (also the Props in-charge), Madhumita Bhattacharjee (also the Costume Designer) and Shantanu Basu.  Set Design was by Munmun Sen and Video & Photography was by Saikat Das.

During the Q&A at the end of the show, the play’s Director, Raktim Sen (who also scored the original background score and designed the lighting) quoted Viola Spolin to thank the audience. He said, "The audience is the most revered member of the theater. Without an audience there is no theater. … They make the performance meaningful." Going by the audience reaction of the full house, I can safely say that there was not a single soul in the auditorium who left unsatisfied. I for one cannot wait till Atlanta Theater Workshop’s next stage production.


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