William Shakespeare’s MACBETH Director: Israfil Shaheen

Playwright: William Shakespeare

Director: Israfil Shaheen

Group: Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Language: Bengali

Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play

The play begins in a military camp, where the Scottish King Duncan hears the news that his generals, Macbeth and Banquo, have defeated two separate invading armies one from Ireland, led by the rebel Macdonald and another from Norway. Macbeth is a brave and loyal Thane to King Duncan. After hearing a prophecy that he will become king himself, Macbeth is overcome by ambition and greed. Bolstered by the prophecy and his wife’s encouragement, he kills King Duncan and takes the throne. Afterwards, Macbeth’s guilt, fear, and paranoia lead him to commit even more murders to secure his power. His confidence in the prophecies eventually leads to his down fall and he is overthrown and killed by those he had wronged.

Director’s Note

Border-crossing and timeless author Shakespeare is one of the focal points in my artistic engagement in theatre for the last twenty five years .Working on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, for me, is questioning about the dynamics of contemporary political power structure in Bangladesh and the globe as well. Since theatrical creation is always a collaborative effort, this production of Macbeth is also an outcome of a group effort that comes from my colleagues and students (performers) in terms of dramaturgy, scenography, choreography and acting. At the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies in University of Dhaka, my works primarily concentrates on the pedagogy of training the students as performers, and then I try to set the aesthetic criteria for a theatrical production that seeks to generate its meaning in relation to the immediate realities of people. They never give the answers to the vibrant questions of the time, but offer various choices so that audience can think and ponder. This production will also engage the audience in same way.

The Director

Dr. Israfil Shaheen is an internationally acclaimed director based in Bangladesh, and a Professor at the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Dhaka. He graduated from the National School of Drama (India) in 1991, and obtained PhD on political theatre from the Rabindra Bharati University (Kolkata, India) in 1999. He served the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies as its Chair from 2006 to 2009. He has taught at Rabindra Bharati University in India, conducted numerous workshops, and delivered lectures on acting, improvisation, and ethnographic research in Bangladesh, India, South Korea, China, Russia, UAE, USA and United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Poland, France, Czech Republic etc.

The Playwright

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer of the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

The Group

In 1989, a subsidiary course on Theatre was instituted directly under the supervision of the Dean of Arts at the University of Dhaka. A similar course on Music was instituted in 1992, also under the Dean of Arts. These two separate units were brought together in August 1994 and named Department of Theatre and Music.

Now after some administrative and pedagogic transformation the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies sets its educational and artistic criteria that envisions to produce Graduates and Postgraduates through its praxis in context of local, regional and global histories, trends, aesthetics and politics.

Cast & Credits

Witch &Apparition: Tamanna Islam, Farzia Hoque Farin, Adity Chatterjee

Macbeth: Rageeb Nayeem, S M Latiful Khabir

Lady Macbeth: Kirtee Bejoya

Duncan: Syed Al Mehedi Hasan

Malcolm: Moammmad Rafiqul Islam Sabuj

Donalbain: Rageeb Nayeem, S M Latiful Khabir

Banquo: Md. Tariqul Haque

Fleance: Md. Aminur Rahman,

Macduff: Moammmad Moniruzzaman Ripon

Lady Macduff: Tamanna Islam

Son of Macduff: Ahammed Raufur Rahim

Lennox: Md. Aklakuzzaman Anik

Ross: Abdullah Al Zabir

Captain: Md. Shamim Miah

Murderers: Md. Shamim Miah, Md. Aklakuzzaman Anik, Sk .Abdul Kiyum

Doctor: Md. Owali Hossain Amdad

Gentlewomen: Tamanna Islam, Farzia Hoque Farin

Seyton: Md. Sanzidul Islam

Attendants & Soldiers: Syed Al Mehedi Hasan, Md. Aklakuzzaman Anik, Sk. Abdul Kiyum, Md. Owali Hossain Amdad, Md. Shamim Miah, Md. Tariqul Haque, Rageeb Nayeem, S M Latiful Khabir, Md. Sanzidul Islam, Md. Aminur Rahman, Ahammed Raufur Rahim

Set and Light (Redesign): Ashiq Rahman Leeon

Directorial Assistants: Tanvir Nahid Khan, Mohsina Akhter, Amit Chowdhury

Technical Assistant: Shahabuddin Miah

Makeup and Costume Design: Kazi Tamanna Haque Sigma,Ummey Somaiya

Costume Design Supervision: Wahida Mollick

Choreography: Amit Chowdhury

Music: Mohsina Akhter

Music Operation: Rudra Sawjal

Stage Managers: Md. Shamim Miah, Farzia Hoque Farin

Production Manager: Rafiqul Islam Sabuj

Overall Coordination: Ahmedul Kabir

Dramaturge: Shahman Moishan

Playwright: William Shakespeare 

Director: Israfil Shaheen