Utpal Dutt

Born in 1929 in Shillong, Meghalaya, Shri Utpal Dutt began his career in the English theatre in Calcutta but soon changed over to Bengali, writing and producing plays for Little Theatre Group, which he founded in 1947, and later for People’s Little Theatre, established in 1969. Over a career spanning several decades, Shri Utpal Dutt has made an indelible mark on contemporary Indian theatre as an actor, director, and playwright. His concerns have been political, but he has offered his audience a wide variety of plays including Bengali and European classics, reconstructions of revolutionary history, street plays on current topics, even existential studies of theatre itself. His work blends the best of realistic acting as it has developed — in India and the productional design and collectivity of Western theatre. Kallol, Angar, Tiner Talwar, and Duswapner Nagari are some of Shri Utpal Dutt’s memorable productions. Neel Shada Lal, a play on the French revolution, is among his more recent productions. Shri Utpal Dutt has written over 60 plays including 20 for the traditional Jatra. He has also translated plays of Bertolt Brecht and Friedrich Wolf into Bengali and written extensively on Shakespeare and various aspects of theatre. On the screen, Shri Utpal Dutt has played important roles in films by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, and Ritwik Ghatak. For his contribution to Indian theatre, Shri Utpal Dutt is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.