Distinguished academician Professor Syed Jamil Ahmed from theater and performance studies department of Dhaka University (DU) said noted playwright Sayeed Ahmad’s play ‘Milepost’ is still relevant to the socio-political condition of Bangladesh.
He made the comment while presenting a keynote analyzing the life and works of noted playwright late Sayeed Ahmad.
Sayeed Ahmad Foundation for Culture and Arts (SAFCA) organised the seminar in remembrance of the eminent playwright and art critic at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in city’s Segunbagicha area on Saturday (May 28).
Dhaka University (DU) English department Professor Fakhrul Alam presided over the seminar here.
Professor Syed Jamil Ahmed analyzed the play ‘Milepost’ and explained the unique multi-layered drama as it unfolds.
Later, DU’s theater and performance studies department Assistant Professor Shahman Moishan and Jagannath University’s Assistant Professor of theater department Kamaluddin Kabir discussed on the keynote.
‘The Milepost’ was written during 1962 to 1964 in the absurd genre. The play was translated into Bengali as ‘Milepost’ by theatre personality Ataur Rahman in 1965.
Later in that year, Satrong Soukhin Theatre premiered Milepost at the then Bangla Academy auditorium.
The story presents a human condition of how people behave in crisis or calamity. The ‘Milepost’ becomes a tool in the hands of travelers who are fleeing the famine as they mislead each other in the face of ruination and devastation.
Sayeed Ahmad was a pioneer who introduced theatre of the absurd to the country’s theatre scene. His absurd plays like The Thing, Milepost and Survival earned him international recognition.
Ahmad was well-known to the BTV audience for his “Bishwa Natok” where he introduces and directs plays of international fame.
He is also well known for his plays Kalbela, 1962; Milepost, 1965; Trishnae, 1968; Ek Din Protidin, 1974; and Shesh Nawab, 1988. All of these plays have been translated into English, French, German and Italian.
He received the prestigious Bangla Academy Award in 1974 and Officier des arts des lettres award from the French government in 1993.
The playwright passed away on January 21, 2010. He was awarded with the Ekushey Padak posthumously on February 21, 2010.