(Last Updated on : 25/04/2012)
Star theatre is one of the heritage buildings, built during British era that has, with pride, promoted theatre in the Indian state
of West Bengal
. Indian theatre
is as old as the history of the country and its culture. With time, Indian drama
was used as a tool to address social issues that concerned the country during the British rule in India. With the setting up of Star Theatre, Bengali theatre gained a great deal of contemporary diction. Initially this theatre stage was located in Beadon Street, and later moved to Cornwallis Street - presently named Bidhan Sarani. The Star Theatre, along with the Minerva Theatre, was one of the renowned among Bengali theatre stages. The Star, along with Minerva and The Classic Theatre, were also one of the places where the first motion pictures in Bengal, made by Hira Lala Sen, were screened.
Kolkata which happens to be the cultural hub of the country - India, played a great role in shaping the literary heritage of India and the preliminary platform was definitely the Bengali Theater
. For the greater intention of carrying theater to further level of maturity a number of theater halls were established out of which Star Theater, Kolkata was definitely one of the most prominent one. It was in the year 1883 Bengali theater gained a marked diction with the establishment of Star Theater by the eminent art lover Mr. Gurmukh Roy. Although fervent art lovers of Kolkata did propose to name the theater hall after the name of the famous theater actress Binodini Dasi
, also known as Noti Binodini, however, the suggestion was turned down and it was named as the "Star Theater, Kolkata".
Star Theatre - the face of Bengali theater, unfolds the saga rich theatre culture of Bengal. Although other Bengal theater halls like; the Great National Theater Hall and the Bina Theater Hall was already there, yet it is with the commencement of the Star Theater, the very creativity, verve and passion of Bengali Theater gained a definite dimension.
It was the 21st day of July 1883 and was indeed a red letter day in the history of Bengali theater
. On this particular day Star Theater was inaugurated with the staging of "Daksha Jagna" under the apt guidance of the great theater personality of West Bengal, the father of Bengali theatre - Girish Ghosh
. That was just the beginning of the voyage and in course of time Star Theater did witness several changes of proprietorship. The theater hall experienced a lot of alteration and was revamped a number of times in order to befit the aesthetic requirement as well as to suit the demand of the artistic minds.
It gave birth to a number of potential talents. All the well known directors, actors, actresses, light men were once a part of this historical theater hall in Kolkata
. The year was 1931 and the date was 1st March- on this day the last play of Manmath Roy's, Karagar was staged. After that no lights were illuminated; not for a single time the screen was up lifted and star theater was being closed down. The history came to an end.
Renowned actors like Girish Chandra Ghosh, 'Nati' Binodini, Sarju Devi, Shishir Bhaduri
, Dani Mitra
, Uttam Kumar
, Soumitra Chatterjee
, Geeta Dey, Sabitri Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee
performed at this famous theatre.
Even Swami Vivekananda
had convened a public meeting at the theatre in 1898 to introduce Margaret Nobel, later known as Sister Nivedita
. In fact, Sri Ramkrishna
Paramahamsha and Rabindranath Tagore
also sat among the audience of Star Theatre, which was the centre stage of Bengali culture till 1991, when it was completely destroyed by fire.
Presently, after renovations by the Government of West Bengal, Star Theatre hosts many Bengali plays
by popular playwrights from Bengal.