OdishaPlus Bureau

Byomakesh Tripathy

  Story of the playwright, actor and director called Byomakesh Tripathy

Son of a renowned writer Shri Govind Tripathy, Byomakesh was attracted to cinema and theatre from his childhood. As a teenager his foundation for theatre was laid at Uttarayani Club of Jatni, a known cultural centre of Puri district. The famous actor Ramamania was the first Guru of Byomakesh. Later his talent was also noticed by eminent theatre personalities Balai Banerjee, Aswini Ghosh and Kartika Ghosh, who took care to teach him various aspects of acting.

After graduation from Calcutta University in 1958, Byomakesh joined the Asian Theatre Institute at Delhi, where he learnt innovative techniques in stage craft from the Institute’s French and English instructors. Later these techniques were successfully applied by Byomakesh in his plays, particularly the use of cyclorama which created an illusion on the stage -something which had never been seen or experienced before on Odisha Stage.

Byomakesh had written a number of plays from 1959 to 1980. Each play was an experiment. Some were satirical and some critical, but each play strongly gave a message of truth, honesty and purity of life. His plays dealt with various burning issues like corruption, prostitution, injustice to women etc besides covering mythological and historical subjects.

Thirteen of Byomakesh’s plays have been compiled into a set of 5 volumes to be released this Friday on September 22nd 2017 at 6.30 PM at Press Club of Odisha, near Master Canteen Square, Bhubaneswar. Besides this, these volumes also carry 3 plays translated by him into Odia- two Greek plays and one Sanskrit play. These plays were very popular in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Byomakesh was a versatile personality. In his career span he had directed almost 68 plays and acted in many of these. Byomakesh was also described as Satyajit Ray of Odisha- great compliments rarely given to any theater artists of Odisha. He was a rare person who had written as well directed many famous plays. He was a stylish actor, and most importantly had introduced many new stagecraft techniques, never seen before on the Odisha stage. He had also ventured into the Odia film industry and acted in a few Odia films besides giving direction in some.

Learned Professor Raj Kishore Ray directed Byomakesh as Gordon Craig (1872-1966) of Odisha, Craig was a famous English actor, director and modernist theater practitioner who had introduced many new concepts in stagecraft.

He had also written scripts for films and songs for theatre – a combination rarely found in Odisha in any artists. As a leading theatre personality Byomakesh was also asked to showcase few of his plays in Bhubaneswar, by leading Odia daily ‘Dharitri’. He was also asked by Doordarshan, to make a documentary on the history of Odisha Theater, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of India’s Independence in 1997.

Byomkesh died at the age of 68.

Byomakesh Tripathy

The set of 5 volumes containing his 13 plays and 3 translated plays will be released on 22nd September at Press Club of Odisha near Master Canteen, Bhubaneswar at 6.30 pm. People passionate about theatre are cordially invited to attend the book release function.

Name of plays covered in the set of 5 volumes are as follows-

Original writings by Byomakesh Tripathy are Ek-Duei-Teen, Raja Mukuta,  KanshaKabata, Singh Dwara, Jagarana, TolaKania, AkhandaJyoti, SunaPharua, MatiraSwarga, HemaHarini, Gopana Katha, Sati Parikhya, Sri Krushna Lila.

Translations are King Oedipus, Angigone and Mudra Rakhyasa.