Behind The Scene
Toufiq Hasan Moyna - A Veteran of the Stage
Zahidul Naim Zakaria
Toufiq Hasan Moyna was tied to the world of cultural activities for as long as he can remember. Born in Joleshhoritola of Bogra district, he was schooled at Bogra Zila School, where, when only in Class III, he started to recite and act. After primary and secondary school, Moyna has been educated at Azizul Haque College. Under the influence of Mozammel Haque Lalu, Moyna gave leadership to the youth community that congregated around Notun Bangla Khelaghor Ashor, a cultural/theatrical club, for a period of ten years. His work as a stage actor and director has taken root and flourished in Bogra since decades past.
On 29 May 1980, Bogra Theatre was officially launched, with Moyna at the helm of the organization, where has acted in, directed and coordinated plays. Till date, he has directed over one hundred plays. When Selim Al-Deen and Nasiruddin Yousuff, in 1982, first thought of the unique concept of bringing all theatrical groups and clubs under the umbrella of Gram Theatre, Toufiq Hasan Moyna was one of the first to respond. Moyna (Bogra Theatre), Feni Songlap Theatre, Pabna Theatre and Kushtia Theatre were the first four to become affiliates of Gram Theatre. Together, they revived the folk-style of staging plays on open yards instead of on stages (which is the European style).
Through Gram Theatre, Moyna's televised stage acts, Je Golper Shesh Nei (The Unending Story), Sonavaner Pala and Kotha Pundrobordhon, was re-staged and received mass appreciation. Kotha Pundrobordhon was even staged at Calcutta's Girish Moncho in 2001. This particular piece of work, which is based on the book titled Banglar Prachin Jonopod Pundrobordhon and focuses on stories surrounding the 8th Century, has received massive plaudits, and has also been staged at Dhaka Women's Society, Girls' Guide Monch and on Bangladesh Television. Kotha Pundrobordhon was directed by Nasiruddin Yusuf (Bacchu). Moyna has written and acted in various roadside dramas as well, such as Goppo, Vote Rongo, Bonnya 84, Bidroho Charidike, Holosnabol, Shadhinota Ajo Kade, Jagbar Din Aaj and Protivar Shondhane. He has also adapted plays from children, which include Shurjeo Shoinik, Natok Bivrat and Alibaba, the last of which was broadcasted on television. His work has also found space on the radio. Bangladesh Betar has broadcasted quite a few of his works, including Jibon Bare Bare.
For his excellence in the field of stage acting, directing and writing plays, Moyna has received Renu Podok of Dinajpur, Tulsi Lahiri Podok of Gaibandha, Mohakal Podok of Dhaka, Lekhok Chokro Podok and various other awards that proclaim his contribution as organizer, director, playwright and prominent cultural activist of Bogra. Through the years, he has worked with various major cultural personalities, such as Selim Al-Deen, Nasiruddin Yousuff, Jamil Ahmed, Badol Sarkar, Shaoli Mitro, Bivash Chakraborty and Nipendro Saha. At the moment he is the Editor of Bogra Theatre, President of Shommilito Shangskritik Jot of Bogra, Joint-editor of Bangladesh Gram Theatre's Central Committee and is also involved in transportation business. He has been elected the Chairman of the Bus and Minibus Owners Association of Bogra three times in a row.
Gram Theatre, the organization that further decorated Toufiq Hasan Moyna already glistening career, was set up on the ideals of going back to the original ways of Bengali Theatre, and promoting the art of stage-acting throughout the country. Moyna staged the second Gram Theatre in Bangladesh, in Tahalu upazilla of Bogra district. In doing so, he has played an instrumental role in bringing the audience back in front of the play, an audience that was waiting in the shadows for a form of entertainment that they knew too well, and missed for the longest time.
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