I distinctly recall the afternoon in 2021, when I was sitting on the hammock on my balcony, scrolling through my feed on Facebook, having no idea about what to do with life. That was when I came across the post of Prachyanat School of Acting and Design facebook.com/Prachyanat.School.2001 on Facebook telling about the course and admission details. The pandemic was in full swing, and my institution had already switched to online classes. Besides, everything was favorable and nothing was stopping me from applying. And that was the beginning of my journey with the best acting school in Dhaka.

I visited the official website prachyanat.com/school to get more information about how to get admission/enroll at Prachyanat School. It was a 6 months course and anyone the age of 18/with an HSC or equivalent degree could apply. The total cost of the course, including the admission charge, was around 12,000 BDT.

I collected the form for 200 BDT. Filled out the form completely and attached two copies of pictures, a photocopy of the NID/birth certificate/passport, and a photocopy of the academic certificate, if you are a student or an employee, a photocopy of the ID card is required. After two months of waiting, I finally received an interview call from the Prachyanat School of Acting and Design. The interview took place the following day at 278/3, Katabon, Elephant Road, Dhaka.

The interview was so friendly and welcoming and something beyond my expectation. There were some basic introductory questions in the interview. I got to read out from a short story called ‘Manihar’. And that was it. I got selected for the course.

In the middle of the year, our course started. Every week there were two sessions on Friday and Saturday from 3-6 pm. The dress code was black top and black trousers and obviously loose clothes. The lessons used to begin at 3 pm, but we had to arrive thirty minutes early to warm up and prepare.

The classes were never like typical institutional classes. They were more interactive ones where we had learning opportunities that helped us in our personal development.  We learned about Bangla theatre and western as well. There were lessons on acting, singing, dancing, and other relevant things, as well as vocal exercises and design. A month later we got to make a 10 minutes duration home production. It was Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Raktakarabi’. We performed it on the Prachyanat floor in front of our teachers and fellow mates. After three months we performed in a choreography-based street play called ‘Atikram’ in front of mass people for the first time. The experience from this performance boosted our confidence and enthusiasm for the next steps in this learning process.

After two months of our street play, it was time for preparing ourselves for the final production. We had only a month left in Prachyanat School of Acting and Design. We went through a preparation phase for our final production that month.

We performed in a folk play named ‘Malua’ from Mymensingh Gitika as our final production. The rehearsal used to start at 5 pm and end at 9/10 pm every day. In the last week, we rehearsed all day long. After a month later we finally staged our play at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The first half an hour of the program was the certificate-giving ceremony. There was a prize for the best performer in terms of overall performance throughout the course.  Performers with a hundred percent attendance got their prizes too. After the ceremony, the play began. The lights, music, and claps of the audience are unforgettable.

The six months journey with the Prachyanat School of Acting and Design was about exploring my possibilities and limitations. It brought a great transformation in my life. I am more confident as a person now.  We got a community where we could express, learn and share. For me, it was, of course, the best gift I could ever ask for and I must say it is the best theatre school in Bangladesh.

Mrittika Zakir

Student of the Department of Television, Film, and Photography

University of Dhaka