(Last Updated on : 15-03-2012)
Sova Sen is a well known name in the area of Bengali theatre
. Born in 1923 she started her career in the Indian People's Theatre Association
(IPTA) production of Nabanna or 'New Harvest' in 1944. She soon came to prominence through her natural yet powerful acting without any touch of staginess, and had to forget her earlier ambition to become a doctor as well as her life as an ordinary housewife. At the beginning, she acted only in shows by IPTA and kindred groups, such as Ritwik Ghatak
's Dalil or 'Document' in 1951 and Dinabandhu Mitra
's Nildarpan in 1952. Her realistic performances in important films like Paribartan i.e. 'Transformation' in 1949, Chhinnamul i.e. 'Uprooted' in 1950, Babla in 1951, and Nagarik i.e. 'Citizen' in 1952 brought her out of the IPTA circuit.
The next phase of her career involved Utpal Dutt
's Little Theatre Group, where she was chosen as the versatile female lead for plays like Shakespeare's Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, etc. All of them were translated. She also acted in Michael Madhusudan Dutt
's Buro shalikerghare ron or 'Mane on the Old Myna's Neck', Girish Ghosh
's Sirajuddaula, Rabindranath Tagore
's Tapati, Jyotirindranath Tagore
's Alik Babu, and a series of Utpal Dutt's own works. The names be mentioned as Angar i.e. 'Coal' in 1959, Pherariphauj i.e. 'Absconding Army' in 1961, Titas ekti nadir nam or 'Titas Is a River's Name' dramatized from Adwaita Mallabarman's novel in 1963, Kallol i.e. 'Waves' in 1965, Tir i.e. 'Arrow' in 1967, Manusheradbikare or 'Of People's Rights', etc.
Sova Sen married Utpal Dutt in 1961. This was her second marriage. From here on she was his devoted lieutenant. After he formed People's Little Theatre (PLT) in 1969, she recorded excellent performances in his Surja Shikar i.e. 'Hunting the Sun', Tiner Taloyar i.e. 'Tin Sword', Lenin Kothay i.e. 'Where's Lenin', Stalin 1934, and Maloparar ma i.e. 'Mother of the Malo Neighbourhood'. She also acted in his Jatra productions like Rifle in 1968, and in over 150 movies. After Utpal Dutt's death, she supervises the PLT, and is the managing trustee of the Utpal Dutt Foundation of International Theatre Studies.