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Notee Binodini
(A drama on the life of Notee Binodini)

Directed by
Jogabrata Majumdar


April 12, 2020 (Sunday) at 3:00 PM
Rockville Civic Center Auditorium
603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, MD 20851   

For more information and tickets, please contact
Roopa Biswas: 216-374-6168
Dipannita Dutta: 240-888-4213
Kumkum Bagchi: 240-491-7800
Rima Acharyya: 571-447-6694
Jogabrata Majumdar: 301-528- 5515

"Blessings of Ramakrishna and drama maestro Girish Ghosh 
on Notee Binodini resulted in her success as the first woman
in the field of Drama at the end of 19th century."


Click here for one page flyer


Binodini Dasi (1862–1941), also known as Notee Binodini, was a Calcutta-based, Bengali-speaking renowned actress and thespian.She started acting at the age of 12 and ended by the time she was 23, as she later recounted in her noted autobiography, Amar Katha (The Story of My Life) published in 1913.


Born to prostitution, she started her career as a courtesan and at age twelve she played her first serious drama role in Calcutta'sNational Theatre in 1874, under the mentorship of its founder, Girish Chandra Ghosh. Her career coincided with the growth of the proscenium-inspired form of European theatre among the Bengali theatre going audience.

During a career spanning twelve years she enacted over eighty roles, which included those of Pramila, Sita, Draupadi, Radha, Ayesha, Kaikeyi, Motibibi, and Kapalkundala, among others. She was one of the first South Asian actresses of the theatre to write her own autobiography. Her sudden retirement from the stage is insufficiently explained.

Sri Ramakrishna, the great saint of 19th century Bengal, came to see her play in 1884. She was a pioneering entrepreneur of the Bengali stage and introduced modern techniques of stage make-up through blending European and indigenous styles.

Autobiography  ·  Original Script

 


Natyakrishti-TCAGW

Natyakrishti-TCAGW is an amateur theater and cultural group based in the greater Washington D.C., USA. Natyakrishti-TCAGW ia a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization registered in the State of Maryland.

In 1985, a group of enthusiastic, dedicated theater lovers in the greater Washington area, aspiring to initiate theatrical and cultural activities, formed an amateur drama group. A number of highly acclaimed dramas were staged by the group at the Durgapuja festivals organized by Sanskriti, Inc. of the Washington Metropolitan area. These dramas were also staged in various other cities of the USA, namely, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, Fairfax and Columbia. Some of the members concurrently participated in the theatrical and cultural events organized by other groups like Manab Kalyan Kendra, Sanskriti, Mayur, etc. They performed in major roles in the dance dramas Achalayatan and Moha Mudgar, organized by the Hon'ble Ambassador Mr. Siddhartha Shankar Ray, which were staged in Kennedy Center, Gandhi Center and the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. 

With the belief that the efforts at promoting theatrical and cultural activities will not be sustained only by staging dramas, a few distinguished individuals of the group planned to increase the horizon by nurturing the Indian theatrical school of thoughts in the USA, exchanging views with Indian stalwarts in the field and introducing their vision in the thespian endeavors of the group. Hence, with a view to developing histrionic talents, active association was initiated with renowned theater groups like Nandikar, Sayak, Calcutta High Court Advocates' Drama Association in India (Hon'ble Minister Dr. Ajit Panja's group). When the Indian groups performed here in the USA, these individuals were involved in different aspects of the productions, including stagecraft, sound, lighting, and performing in dramas like Chok Galo, Meghnad Badh Kabya, Sesh Sakshatkar, Kabye-o-Ganey, Barda, Gotraheen, Daibaddha and Noti Binodini. 

At the dawn of the new millennium, with the knowledge and experiences that have been gained since 1985, the need was felt to change the course of direction with a view to conducting more intense and mission oriented programs. To this end, these distinguished personalities along with other vibrant and talented members of our community, informally formed an amateur group with a new vision and mission, and named it Theater and Cultural Association of Greater Washington. The group, for the purpose of organizing themselves, had already staged several greatly commended dramas, which were either authored or previously produced by famous personalities like Michael Madhusudan Dutta, Utpal Dutta, Manoj Mitra, Sailesh Guha Niyogi and Mohit Chattopadhyay. These dramas were staged in many different cities of the USA.

Over time, the vision of Indian drama stalwarts translated into the thoughts and views of the group, and at present, they have officially formalized the creation of a progressive and creative cultural organization named Natyakrishti- Theater and Cultural Association of Greater Washington (Natyakrishti-TCAGW). Natyakrishti-TCAGW embodies a vision for the future and embraces all talented as well as the novice, skilled and unskilled actors and actresses, singers and culturally oriented personalities irrespective of their color, creed, national origin, or religious beliefs. Natyakrishti-TCAGW assures that it will serve the purpose of quenching the thirst of all drama loving people in the USA and Canada. 


Prior to 2006, Natyakrishti staged a number of dramas every few years for more than 2 decades under different banners.

In 2006 Natyakrishti staged its first drama Rakta Karobi, a classic play by Rabindranath. The performance drew accolade from the entire audience, including a renowned movie personality from India who was present in the auditorium. The selection of a symbolic play like Tagore's Rakta Karobi, and its successful production, characterizes Natyakrishti's journey towards realization of its vision. Since then Natyakrishti has been staging classic dramas every couple of years.

Since 2006, Natyakrishti has been staging a drama every few years.

Natyakrishti is thankful for the inspiration and encouragement received from well-wishers in the community, several theater activists in the USA and Canada, and above all, the doyens of Bengali theater such as Professor Rudraprasad Sengupta, Swatilekha Sengupta, and Gautam Halder of Nandikar, Kolkata, India.

 
 

Natyakrishti-TCAGW, Inc.

Theater and Cultural Association of Greater Washington  
19706 Maycrest Way, Germantown, MD 20876
301-512-1295

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Created and maintained by
Dilip K. Som