Centre for Asian Theatre (CAT) is the first, and the only professional theatre organisation in Bangladesh. CAT was established in 1994. It is an overall aim of CAT to develop itself into a full-fledged professional theatre organisation and promote professionalism in the theatre arena of Bangladesh at large. This is a long term and multifaceted task in a country where there is no institutional theatre, theatre education is theoretical rather than practical and many existing theatre groups are amateur groups run on a part-time basis. It requires a focus on theoretical aspects of theatre as well as on theatre practice, and it means creation of theatre productions as well as training.

CAT Repertory Theatre was established in 1996. It stages Western plays and modern Bengali plays as well as plays based on traditional theatrical forms – folk forms and classical Sanskrit theatre. The first production of CAT Repertory Theatre was Krishnabibar (1996), an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts. CAT has also staged other plays by this world famous playwright, notably Bunohans (1999) which is an adaptation of Wild Duck, Peer Chan (2000)-an adaptation of Peer Gynt, Putuler Itikatha (2001) which is a translation of A Doll’s House, Bangla version of Brand (2004) and The Lady from the Sea (2008).

CAT Repertory Theatre has also staged a wide range of other plays: Bhelua Sundari (1999)– based on a ballad from the middle ages, Kalidasa’s Sanskrit play Vikramorvasiya (1999), Rabindranath Tagore’s Raja (The King of the Dark Chamber) (2000), Urubhangam (2001) – an adaptation of a Sanskrit play by Bhasa, The Lesson (2001) by Eugene Ionesco, Heiner Müller’s The Mission (2003), The Well of Bouctou (2004)- As a part of a triangle co- operation between the theatre organisation CITO in Burkina Faso, the National Theatre of Norway and CAT, Thomas Bernhard’s Immanuel Kant (2004), Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (2005), Sonai Bibir Pala (2005)-based on East Bengal ballad, Resurrection (2006)- a play by Kamaluddin Nilu, based on Henrik Ibsen’s life and works, Jens Bjørneboe’s Amputation (2008), Abdullah Al Mamun’s Shenapati (2009), Jasminka Markovska’s The Communicator (2009) and Anika Mahin’s Macabre (2014).

Another Important pillar in CAT’s activities is social awareness progamme through professional theatre, consisting of theatre productions for school children and adolescents, puppet theatre productions for slum children and street theatre.

CAT’s emphasis on professionalism also means that it is a high priority for CAT to organise seminars and workshops on various facets of theatre and theatre related subjects. These include International Ibsen Seminar and Workshops on Gender Issues in Ibsen’s Plays (1997), Natyotsav, A Classical Sanskrit Theatre Symposium and Festival (1999), an international conference and theatre festival on The Relevance of A Doll’s House –Translation and Adaptation (2002), An international conference and theare festival on Socio- political Aspects of Ibsen’s Plays was organised as a part of Ibsen Commemoration 2006 and International Ibsen Seminar and theatre Festival 2009. CAT has also published several books and plays, including an Ibsen biography written by Professor Ali Anwar (2002) which is the first Ibsen biography available in Bangla.

Since its long journey CAT has achieved some remarkable successes, including the scholarship of International Ibsen Award in 2008.