|Died||19 May 1997 81) (aged|
|Occupation||Actor, director, playwright|
|Awards||Padma Bhushan in 1970|
Sombhu Mitra (22 August 1915 – 19 May 1997) was an Indian film and stage actor, director, playwright, reciter and an Indian theatre personality, known especially for his involvement in Bengali theatre, where he is considered a pioneer. He remained associated with the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) for a few years before founding the Bohurupee theatre group in Kolkata in 1948. He is most noted for films like Dharti Ke Lal (1946), Jagte Raho (1956), and his production of Rakta Karabi based on Rabindranath Tagore's play in 1954 and Chand Baniker Pala, his most noted play as a playwright.
Bengali theatre primarily refers to theatre performed in the Bengali language. Bengali theatre is produced mainly in West Bengal, and in Bangladesh. The term may also refer to some Hindi theatres which are accepted by the Bengali people.
Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) is the oldest association of theatre-artists in India. IPTA was formed in 1943 pre independence India, during which it promoted themes related to the Indian freedom struggle. Its goal was to bring cultural awakening among the people of India. It is the cultural wing of the Communist Party of India.
Dharti Ke Lal is a 1946 Hindi-Urdu film, the first directorial venture of the noted film director Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. It was jointly written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Bijon Bhattacharya, based on plays by Bhattacharya and the story Annadata by Krishan Chander. The film had music by Ravi Shankar, with lyrics by Ali Sardar Jafri and Prem Dhawan.
In 1966, the Sangeet Natak Akademi awarded him with its highest award, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution, then in 1970, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour,and in 1976 the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
Sangeet Natak Akademi is the national level academy for performing arts set up by the Government of India.
The Padma Bhushan is the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India, preceded by the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan and followed by the Padma Shri. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is given for "distinguished service of a high order...without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex." The award criteria include "service in any field including service rendered by Government servants" including doctors and scientists, but exclude those working with the public sector undertakings. As of 2019, the award has been bestowed on 1254 individuals, including twenty-one posthumous and ninety-six non-citizen recipients.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award established to perpetuate former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay's example of integrity in governance, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society. The prize was established in April 1957 by the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund based in New York City with the concurrence of the Philippine government. The award is internationally-recognized as Asia's Nobel Prize counterpart and is the highest award given to Asian individuals and organizations.
Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, on 22 August 1915, Sombhu Mitra was the sixth child of three sons and four daughters born of Sarat Kumar Mitra, an employee of the Geological Survey of India, and Satadalbasini Mitra. His mother died when he was 12 years old.
Kolkatakol-KUT-ə is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. The city is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, and is also nicknamed the "City of Joy". According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city; the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the suburb population brought the total to 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.
He started his schooling in Chakraberia Middle English School, Calcutta and later continued in the Ballygunge Government High School, Calcutta, where he developed interest reading Bengali plays and became active in school dramatics. He joined St. Xavier's College at the University of Calcutta in 1931, and soon started attending the local theatre.
Ballygunge Government High School, or BGHS, is a school in West Bengal, India. This is a boys only school for secondary and higher secondary level students. Its medium of instruction is English. It was once considered one of the best Bengali medium schools in Kolkata and continues to be a good one. The campus includes a fairly large play-ground and the school offers variety of extracurricular activities for its students. The school has produced many well known academics, film and theater personalities, journalist and musicians. Currently, there are over 1200 students enrolled at this school. The school is adjacent to Kolkata Regional Transport Office (RTO)/Ballygunge police station and Kolkata Motor Vehicles Department
The University of Calcutta is a collegiate public state university located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India established on 24 January 1857. It was the first institution in Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and secular Western-style university.
His first appearance in Bengali theatre was in Rangmahal Theatre in north Kolkata in 1939, thereafter he moved to the Minerva, Natyaniketan and Srirangam theatres.
In 1943, he joined Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA). In 1944, several old theatrical conventions were broken when the play Nabanna written by Bijon Bhattacharya and co-directed by Sombhu Mitra for IPTA was staged. In 1948, Sombhu Mitra formed a new theatre group, Bohurupee in Kolkata, which ushered the group-theatre movement in West Bengal.
Bijon Bhattacharya was a prominent Indian theatre and film personality from Bengal.
Bohurupee is a Bengali premier theatre group. Bohurupee was founded in 1948 by several active members who left the Indian People's Theatre Association. The group was created to present the experimental Bengali drama in unusual form.
West Bengal is an Indian state located in the eastern region of the country along the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants, it is India's fourth-most populous state. West Bengal is the fourteenth-largest Indian state, with an area of 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi). A part of the ethno-linguistic Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, it borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata (Calcutta), the seventh-largest city in India, and center of the third-largest metropolitan area in the country. As for geography, West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, the Ganges delta, the Rarh region, and the coastal Sundarbans. The main ethnic group are the Bengalis, with Bengali Hindus forming the demographic majority.
He married Tripti Mitra née Bhaduri, who was also a celebrated personality in the Bengali theatre. Their daughter, Shaoli is a noted actress, director and playwright.
Under Sombhu Mitra's direction, the Bohurupee staged several successful productions. In December 1950, the Bohurupee presented three plays in the New Empire theatre – Tulsi Lahiri's Pathik and Chenda Tar and Sombhu Mitra's own creation, Ulukhagra . In 1954, Rabindranath Tagore's Rakta Karabi was staged by the Bohurupee, followed by his Bisarjan , Raja and Char Adhyay . Other notable productions include Bidhyak Bhattacharya's Tahar Namti Ranjana and Kanchanranga . Under his direction, this group also presented the Bengali adaptations of several well-known dramas from the world stage. Henrik Ibsen's Putul Khela (Doll's House), Dashachakra (An Enemy of the People) and Sophocles' Raja Oidipaus (Oedipus Rex) are notable amongst them.
He has also acted in The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht directed by Fritz Bennewitz in the title role.
In these productions he performed as Rahimuddin in Chenda Tar, Atin in Char Adhyay, Binod in Ulukhagra, Tapan in Putul Khela, Dr. Purnendu Guha in Dashachakra, Oidipaus in Raja Oidipaus.
He died in Kolkata.
Sombhu Mitra performed in several movies in Bengali and Hindi. The notable among them are:
He wrote the story and screenplay of Jagte Raho (1956) and also co-directed it along with Amit Maitra. He also directed a Bengali movie, Shubha Bibaha in 1959.
Sombhu Mitra received many national and international awards, which include the Crystal Globe for Jagte Raho at the 1957 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Desikottama from Visva Bharati University in 1989,an honorary D. Litt from both Rabindra Bharati University and Jadavpur University in Kolkata, the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1976 for journalism, literature and creative communication arts and the Padmabhushan in the same year. He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1966. For his contribution in the movies, he won the Grand-Prix Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Madhya Pradesh Government honoured him with Kalidas Samman (1982–83).
Soumitra Chatterjee or Soumitra ChattopadhyayO.L.H. is an Indian film and stage actor and poet. He is best known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in fourteen films, and his constant comparison with the Bengali cinema screen idol Uttam Kumar, his contemporary leading man of the 1960s and 1970s. Soumitra Chatterjee is also the first Indian film personality to be conferred with the Commandeur de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest award for artists. He is also the winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award which is India's highest award for cinema. In 2017 exactly thirty years after auteur Satyajit Ray was honoured with France's highest civilian award, the coveted Legion of Honor, thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, arguably, the most prominent face of Ray's films, also received the prestigious award.
Utpal Dutta was an Indian actor, director, and writer-playwright. He was primarily an actor in Bengali theatre, where he became a pioneering figure in Modern Indian theatre, when he founded the "Little Theatre Group" in 1949. This group enacted many English, Shakespearean and Brecht plays, in a period now known as the "Epic theatre" period, before it immersed itself completely in highly political and radical theatre. His plays became an apt vehicle for the expression of his Marxist ideologies, visible in socio-political plays such as Kallol (1965), Manusher Adhikar, Louha Manob (1964), Tiner Toloar and Maha-Bidroha. He also acted in over 100 Bengali and Hindi films in a career spanning 40 years, and remains most known for his roles in films such as Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome (1969), Satyajit Ray’s Agantuk (1991), Gautam Ghose’s Padma Nadir Majhi (1993) and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's breezy Hindi comedies such as Gol Maal (1979) and Rang Birangi (1983). He also did a small role of a sculptor in a detective show called Byomkesh Bakshi on Doordarshan in the early 90s, shortly before his death. The episode was called 'Seemant Heera'.
Rai Chand Boral was an Indian composer, considered by music connoisseurs to be the Bhishma Pitamah, the father of Bollywood film music.
Suchitra Mitra was an Indian singer, composer,artist exponent of Rabindra Sangeet or the songs of Bengal's poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore, professor, and sheriff of Kolkata, India. As an academic, she remained a professor and the Head of Rabindra Sangeet Department at the Rabindra Bharati University for many years. Mitra was a playback singer, acted in a Bengali films as well, and was many years associated with IPTA.
Mohit Chattopadhyaya was a Bengali Indian playwright, screenwriter, dramatist and poet. He was a leading figure in modern Indian drama. Mohit Chottopadhya died on 12 April 2012. He had been suffering from cancer.
Badal Sircar, also known as Badal Sarkar, was an influential Indian dramatist and theatre director, most known for his anti-establishment plays during the Naxalite movement in the 1970s and taking theatre out of the proscenium and into public arena, when he transformed his own theatre company, Shatabdi' as a third theatre group. He wrote more than fifty plays of which ''Evam indrajit'', Basi Khabar, and Saari Raat are well known literary pieces. A pioneering figure in street theatre as well as in experimental and contemporary Bengali theatre with his egalitarian "Third Theatre", he prolifically wrote scripts for his Aanganmanch performances, and remains one of the most translated Indian playwrights. Though his early comedies were popular, it was his angst-ridden Evam Indrajit that became a landmark play in Indian theatre. Today, his rise as a prominent playwright in 1960s is seen as the coming of age of Modern Indian playwriting in Bengali, just as Vijay Tendulkar did it in Marathi, Mohan Rakesh in Hindi, and Girish Karnad in Kannada.
Rudraprasad Sengupta is a Bengali Indian actor, director and cultural critic.
Shyamanand Jalan was an influential Kolkata-based Indian thespian, theatre director, and actor. He is credited for the renaissance period of modern Indian theatre and especially the Hindi theatre in Kolkata from the 1960s to 1980s. He was the first to perform modernist Mohan Rakesh, starting with his magnum opus Ashadh Ka Ek Din in 1960 and in the coming years bridged the gap between Hindi theatre and Bengali theatre, by mounting Hindi productions of works by Bengali playwrights, like Badal Sircar's Evam Indrajit (1968) and Pagla Ghora (1971), which in turn introduced Sircar to rest of the country. In 2005, he directed his first and only film Eashwar Mime Co., which was an adaptation of Dibyendu Palit's story, Mukhabhinoy, by Vijay Tendulkar.
Manoj Mitra is an Indian theatre, film and television actor, director and playwright.
Usha Ganguly is an Indian theatre director-actor and activist, most known for her work in Hindi theatre in Kolkata in the 1970s and 1980s. She founded Rangakarmee theatre group in 1976, known for its productions like Mahabhoj, Rudali, Court Martial, and Antaryatra. Apart from thespian Shyamanand Jalan of Padatik, she is only other theatre director to practice Hindi theatre in Kolkata, which is largely Bengali speaking.
Khaled Choudhury was a theatre personality and artist of Bengal. He worked for various directors of both Bengali and Hindi plays, including Sombhu Mitra, Tripti Mitra, and Shyamanand Jalan in various capacities — creating the Stage, sets and costumes and later as Music Director. He is a bachelor. Presently, he resides in Kolkata, India. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to theatre in India's Republic Day Honours List on 26 January 2012. He died on 30 April 2014 in Kolkata.
Tripti Mitra was a popular Indian actress of Bengali theatre and films, and wife of Sombhu Mitra, noted theatre director, with whom she co-founded pioneering theatre group Bohurupee in 1948. She has acted in films like Jukti Takko Aar Gappo and Dharti Ke Lal.
The group theatre of Kolkata refers to a tradition in theatres in the Indian city Kolkata, which developed in the 1940s as an alternative to entertainment-oriented theatres. As opposed to commercial theatres, group theatre is "a theatre that is not professional or commercial", characterized by its tendency for experimentation in theme, content and production, and its aim of using the proscenium stage to highlight social messages, rather than having primarily making-money objectives.Bikramgarh Maru Behag group theatre director Smt.Jolly Guha Roy
Debshankar Haldar is a Bengali theatre actor with a long career in Bengali theatre groups such as Nandikar, Rangapat, Natyaranga, Sudrak, Gandhar, Bratyajon, Sansriti and Blank Verse. Known for his versatility, he played the role of Debabrata Biswas in ‘Bratyajon’'s production ‘Ruddha Sangeet’, Swami Vivekananda in Lokkrishti's Biley and the historical theatrical figure Sisir Kumar Bhaduri in Indraranga's Nisshanga Samrat. Debshankar has also worked in films.
Shaoli Mitra is a Bengali theatre and film actress. She played the role of Bangabala in Ritwik Ghatak's Jukti Takko Aar Gappo. She is the daughter of Sombhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra, who were also theatre personalities. In 2011, she was a chairperson of Rabindra Shardhoshato Janmabarsha Udjapon Samiti.
Kumar Roy (1926–2010) was a Bengali theatre actor, director and playwright. In 1983 he won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. He was associated with the group Bohurupee. In 1989 he directed the re-creation of the classic play Nabanna (1948). He was the President of the PashchimBanga Natya Akademi from 2006 till his death in 2010. Kumar Roy was also Professor of Drama at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata and Visiting Professor at Sangeet Bhavan, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan.
Tapas Sen was a noted Indian stage lighting designer, who was an important figure in 20th-century Indian theatre. He started working with Bengali theatre movement in Kolkata in the late 1940s, along with noted directors, Utpal Dutt and Shambhu Mitra. Later he became a founding member of the Indian People's Theatre Association's (IPTA), Delhi chapter, and worked closely with Hindi theatre. Through his career stretching five decades he worked theatre directors, Ebrahim Alkazi, Vijay Tendulkar, and also dancers Sadhana Bose, Chandralekha, Birju Maharaj and Kelucharan Mahapatra. He was known not only for his creative stage lighting, but also had a significant impact on the work of leading theatre director of the time.
Ajitesh Bandopadhyay was an actor, playwright, activist and director. He along with Shambhu Mitra and Utpal Dutt are considered to be the doyens of Bengali theatre of the post - Independence era.