Who is Saoli Mitra? A Padma Shri awardee, a renowned theatre personality, actor, director, playwriter and author passed away recently. She was 73. Being born to legendary theatre artists she started her acting career early through the Bahurupi productions under her parents’ guidance.
The director of the short film Subha, Saoli Mitra started her acting career when she was just about five years old. Her first performance on stage was a leading role for ‘Raj” in 1987.
She was the president of Paschim Banga Bangla Academy and edited its magazines till her last breath.
In 2019, she was last seen on stage when she did a solo play-reading of’ ‘Sita Katha’. “Saoli had been away from public view due to ailments for some time but she had mesmerised audiences with her stellar performances through the years,” said Rudraprasad Senugapta, a theatre personality.
Here are 10 things we know about Saoli Mitra:
1. Saoli Mitra was born in 1948 in West Bengal to Sombhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra who were also great theatre personalities. She was an only child and an actor, director, and playwriter. She was suffering from heart ailments and passed away at her residence in South Kolkata.
2. Mitra was the recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2003, Padma Shri in 2009, and Banga Bibhusan in 2012.
3. She completed her post-graduate studies in Theatre at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata inspired by her parents. and continued her research on theatre and contemporary art. Among her research, notable works include “Barnattok Natyadhara” & “Rabindra Sanglaper bachik abhinayer swarup”.
4. She spent many years in “Bahurupi” a theatre group which was founded by her parents. She played the role of Amal in Tagore’s Daakghar.
5. In 2011, Mitra became the chairperson of Rabindra Shardhoshato Janmabarsha Udjapon Samithi.
6. She is well-known for her solo performance as Draupadi in Naathvathi Anaathbat, written and directed by her, and also for her performance as Sita in Sitakhata or Bitata Bitangso.
7. Mitra acted in only one movie which was Ritwik Ghatak’s film Jukti Takko Aar Gappo, she played the role of Bangabala.
8. She founded ‘Pancham Baidik’ a theatre group noted for productions that reflect on contemporary intellectual debates. It had introduced widely acclaimed plays on women’s emancipation.
9. Maitri also wrote books on Bengali theatre, which includes Five Lords, Yet None a Protector & Words Sweet & Timeless, Lakshmi Jakhan Asbe, Gononatya, Nobonatya, Sotnatya O Sombhu Mitra.
10. She was part of sevral famaous plays Putulkhela, Ekti Rajnaitik Hotya, Hajabaralo, Katha Amritasaman, Lankadahan, Chandali, Pagla ghorha, Pakhi, Galileo r Jeeban, and Jodi Aar ek Baar.
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