Asit Bandopadhyay (or Banerjee) is a Bengali dramatist, screenwriter and actor. He is associated with the Nandikar theater group. He lives and works in Kolkata, India.
He developed an interest in drama as a student in Kolkata's Manindra Chandra College, an affiliated undergraduate college of the University of Calcutta, in 1955. He joined the drama group Bohurupee as a trainee in 1959 and completed a year’s course under the tutelage of Sambhu Mitra. Thereafter, along with dramatist Ajitesh Banerjee, Dipen Sen Gupta, Satyen Mitra, Sri Bandopadhyay, he co-founded Nandikar on June 29, 1960.
Nandikar and Mitra Sammilani
He joined Government service in 1960, while appearing in almost all the Nandikar's productions, such as Natyakarer Sandhane (In Search of a Dramatist), Sher Afghan, Manjari Amer Manjari (My Bouquet of Flowers), Jakhan Eka (When Alone), Bitangsha and Tin Paishar Pala (The Three Penny Opera), until he was transferred to Siliguri in 1972. He directed the plays Parineeta and Purbarag for Nandikar. In Siliguri, he joined the local theater group Mitra Sammilani, as actor and director. This group staged Bitangsha, Kabikahini (Story of a Poet), Ek Je Chillo Ghora (There was one such Horse) and Suryabadal (The Eclipse, which was written by himself). He also toured Calcutta with the Siliguri team.
In 1978 he became a writer and director of Jatra plays (folk-plays). He has written, directed and staged about 40 plays, which have been performed all over West Bengal and which include Daini (Witch), Pagla Raja (Mad King), Kalo Meyer Kanna (Cry of the Black Girl), Hira Jhiler Kanna, Bilwamangal, Kumari Janani (The Unwed Mother), and Banik Badir Bou (The Daughter-in-law of the Merchants). He collaborated with Soumitra Chatterjee on popular live events in Kolkata.
He played roles in Mrinal Sen’s Calcutta 71, Mrigayaa, Mahaprithivi. He appeared in Nabyendu Chatterjee’s National Award winning films Parashuramer Kuthar, Atmaja and Shilpi and Chidananda Dasgupta’s Amodini. He wrote scripts for Bengali films. He appeared in and wrote scripts for radio and television serials for Doordarshan Kendra Kolkata and All India Radio.
He was twice awarded Government of West Bengal Best Director, in 1984 and 1998. He won the Dishari Award, Pramathesh Chandra Barua Award and the Uttam Kumar Award. He was awarded the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards for Best Supporting Actor in Mrigayaa, Mahaprithivi.