|Md. Asad Hossen
|Abul Fazal Mahmudun Nobi, Sirajuddin Raju, Shakil Ahmed Shimul
The project, ‘Centre For Puppetry’, aims to create a better world for the children that will ensure them to grow up in a joyful environment, to learn the basics of life, to see the difference between light and darkness, to choose the right path. Today we live in a polluted city and we cannot avoid human pollution from our life, form our society. People are becoming desensitized, so as our children. They practice slavery for moving forward and young mind grabs whatever it finds. Schools are not enough for children’s better up growing. They need a space of their own, where they will learn to know about themselves, and about the world that surrounds them. They will find all the colours of life and will be able to create their own philosophy of it. They will grow up so as they can make a difference. This project will perform as a home ground for our children. The project has two wings: one is the animation theater based on puppetry and other is the children centre. Puppet as an art form communicates best with the children. Puppet, to a child, is like his/her play-mate. The theater aims to produce puppet animated films on various stories that will help them learn values of life. It will also provide workshops on puppetry and live puppet shows where the children can participate. The children centre will help children to explore the colors of their imagination. This aims to provide a healthy environment and a ground to play. Since this art form includes almost all other types of art, this will help enhance each child’s ability to choose their own best.
Children possess a power to such an extent that they can travel even beyond imagination. Rabindranath Tagore, in writing, said ‘in our country childhood education system contains no delight for children’. Modern theories of learning has emphasized on ‘entertaining’ children first in order to educate them, believing that burden becomes light when cheerfully borne. All children have creative instinct and they want to express themselves in their own way through games, music, painting, drama and so on. A child has a magic eye to see various things in his own magical way. So, the creativity and originality of the child must be nurtured and enriched.
Puppetry is such a performing art that almost all forms of arts and crafts have been combined into it. It includes drawing, painting, modeling, sculpture as well as acting, singing, costume designing and every other form of dramaturgy. The more the children get exposed to the creative world, the more their own talents begin to get expressed. Puppetry is perhaps the oldest surviving art form of the world. The earliest mention of puppetry occurs in an ancient Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’ written in the ninth century B.C almost four thousand years ago. Puppet theatre in an old traditional art form of Bangladesh and once it was the spine of our village entertainment but now it is possibly the least developed in our country. It is a way of joy and learning for the children and adults also, but with advancement of technology, the practice of puppetry is very rare. And as well, the numbers of puppeteers are decreasing day by day.
Since in our country there are not much institutions working on spreading the art form of puppetry, there is a need of such a complex which will help revive and promote the culture once again. Puppet theatre has tremendous merits which can develop and direct a child’s thought process. By designing a centre for puppetry, we can build a platform where Bangladesh puppet culture can flourish with lasting hope and effects.
It will give out innovative puppetry expressing and influencing the essence of patriotism, culture, traditions, ethics, environment and consciousness of social factors. In a city, like ours, where most schools have no playground, where children are hostage to just amusement parks and cartoons on televisions, we desperately need to provide a place for them. A place such that it can help them enhance their creativity and see a form of performance that will teach them about our culture, educating them in many ways.
The children centre which is an integral part of this project along with the theatre will contribute greatly to this objective. This project will not only contribute to save and culture an important art but will utilize the potentiality of this unique media, in making children’s programs, social issue programs and public awareness programs. This project will also have a training section to ensure the continuity and development of the unique art.
The basic idea was to create a form that gives a feeling of the puppet. Form that communicates with the people about puppetry. I started studying the features of the puppet that makes it recognizable to the audiences. The characteristic that makes the puppets recognizable to people of all ages is the mechanism on how it works. The most popular form of puppetry is marionette. The marionette is a puppet on strings, suspended from a control held by the puppeteer. Marionette presentations generally need to be raised, either by setting up on a platform, stage or rostra blocks, or by the use of a built-in feature of the puppet staging. Totally open-stage per forming, in which the puppeteer appears fully visible on stage with the marionettes, is used most frequently for cabaret and variety acts. It provides greater scope for movement and action than the more traditional forms of presentation.