Khaled Choudhury

Shri Khaled Choudhury, stage designer of long repute, is among the iconic figures of India’s theatre movement. He was born in 1919 in Karimganj, Assam, and came to Calcutta in 1945 to study painting. He began his career as a designer and illustrator for books, a profession in which he excelled with over 15000 books in different languages to his credit. He was attracted to the stage by Sombhu Mitra’s work with Bohurupee in the early days of the Group Theatre movement in Calcutta and rose rapidly to be reckoned among the movement’s most influential figures. Over the years Shri Khaled Choudhury has brought to stage design his diverse tastes and aptitudes in drawing, painting as well as folk and Western music. For Bohurupee’s famous production of Tagore’s Rakta Karabi (1954), he is credited with devising special musical instruments in addition to the set, music and costumes. In all, his work on stage includes over a hundred productions, including major successes such as Ibsen’s Putul Khela, Tagore’s Dakghar, Badal Sircar’s Evam Indrajit and Pagla Ghora, and Mohan Rakesh’s Adhe Adhure. His more recent productions include Chilekothar Sepai, Nakshi Kanthar Math, and Sarhad Par Manto. For the Song and Drama Division, he has worked on Upendra Kishore Raychoudury’s Gopi Gayen Bagha Bayen. His publications in Bengali include Theatre-e Shilpa Bhabana (1997) and Lok Sangeeter Prasangikata (2004). Shri Khaled Choudhury has been honoured by many institutions and the state for his meritorious work in the theatre. These honours include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1986), a D.Litt. from Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta (2000), the Kalidas Samman conferred by the Government of Madhya Pradesh (2002), the Dinabandhu Puraskar bestowed by the West Bangal Government (2005), and the Paschimbanga Rajya Akademi Award (2008). For his outstanding contribution to Indian theatre, Shri Khaled Choudhury is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.