Kathmandu embraces 5 drama theatres owned by renowned theatre artist of Nepal, that also within few kilometers inside Kathmandu. This drama theatre portrays the Nepali and International Drama on a regular basis.
Each of these theatres is situated around walkable distance from Thamel. Also, the showtime of these theatres is quite feasible which is 5:00 PM, so anyone interested in theatre drama may definitely utilize their free time enjoying the splendid drama personated by the talented artist. Normally, the shows go for around two hours.
A Brief History of Nepali Drama Theatre
The culture of Nepali plays date back to the Malla era, there was a special place known as Dabali for the entertainment of the kings. The Nepali plays which were exclusively shown to the royal family were brought to the people by Bal Krishna Sama, the Nepali theater legend. His play, Mukunda Indira wrote and directed by himself was shown to the general public at the open space of Durbar High School, Kathmandu.
While talking about contemporary Nepali theatre art, one name should not be missed. Sunil Pokharel, who is a renowned artist, director, and Teacher of Arohan Gurukul. Established in 2038, Arohan is probably the first formal theatre group of Nepal. Alongside Pokharel, Badri Adhikari, Samanta Kanshakar, Chandramala Sharma, and Pradeep Shrestha established the theater.
In the equivalent encompassing, Sarwanam Theater was built up under the initiative of Ashesh Malla. Despite the fact that a few people said that Aarohan was left-inclining and Sarwanam was fair amid the Panchayat time, there is no uncertainty about their instrumental job in bringing issues to light among individuals against the Panchayat rule. During the Panchayat system, when plays raised voice for freedom, theatre artistes were arrested and the plays faced censorship, explained Theatre Director Ashesh Malla, a renowned name in Nepali theatre culture. He highlighted how the censorship affected artistic freedom in the 70s and 80s and how the condition of the country affected the theatrical environment.
Talking about Sunil Pokharel, he has devoted his life to the development and enhancement of the scenario of Nepali theatre. Arohan established its own academy named Gurukul in 2002, which was closed in 2011 due to different technical issues with the owner, which was in rental land at Purano Baneshwor however Gurukul is one of the core reasons for today’s place of Nepali Theatre art. Many theatres inside Kathmandu is carrying the legacy of Aarohan Gurukul, some of them are started from the product of Gurukul itself.
Due to the unsatisfying response of the Government on the field of Theatre, low volume of audiences etc, it’s very difficult for actors to sustain in Theatre. Despite all these difficulties our theatre artistes haven’t left any stone unturned in this field and have given their 100%.
Ashes Malla, the founder and Artistic Director of Sarwanam Theatre Group quoted that, “In western countries, the government values theater as their artistic heritage and therefore every year, huge artistic grants are given to theater groups. But in Nepal, despite the lack of government support, it is amazing to witness the immense passion of Nepali theater artistes; especially the talented younger generations. Instead of complaining about the facilities that they do not have, they have been working hard in creating brilliant plays with very limited resources. They are the flag bearers of Nepali theater and when I look at them, I am convinced that the future of Nepali theater is very bright.”
However considering today’s context, audiences’ numbers are increasing day by day and many of the plays are running houseful which is silver lining of the future of Nepali drama theatre. Theaters are likewise effective for creating many promising on-screen characters for the Nepali film industry nowadays. Some of them worth mentioning here are Saugat Malla, Dayahang Rai, Bipin Karki, Bijay Baral, Najir Hussein, Srijana Subba, Pashupati Rai, etc.
Mandala is a group of young, enthusiastic and dedicated artists and theatre workers, which was established in 2009 and running by Rajan Khatiwada and team. The various genres of literature are inalienably linked to theatre and Mandala attempts at assimilating all of them in its productions and works. Read more.. facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MandalaTheatreNepal/ Address: Anamnagar, Kathmandu
Sarwanam has not only traveled to more than seventy districts of Nepal to perform plays, it has also represented Nepali theater in different parts of the world. Sarwanam has established itself as the leading theatre group of Nepal. By introducing alternative theatre that requires little or no artificial props on the stage, Sarwanam has successfully triumphed over the dominating rule of the traditional and conventional proscenium theatre in Nepal. Read More.. facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarwanam-Theatre/ Address: Kalikasthan, Kathmandu
Running by Ghimire Yubraj, the word Shilpee refers to ‘artist’ in Nepalese language. Shilpee Theatre Group was established in 2006 with seven theatre artists. Currently, there are thirteen members in the group consisting of seven full time artists, five administrative staff and an Artistic Director with a Board of Directors to support and lead its activities. Read more.. facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shilpeetheatre/ Address: Battisputali, Kathmandu
Running by Anup Baral. Theatre Village Nepal is a not-for-profit organization based in Kathmandu working with an objective of redefining Nepali Theatre. Its primary focus has been to explore theatre language that helps theatre go well with the technological advancement in the cyberage. Read More.. facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheatreVillage/ Address: Uttardhoka-Lazimpat, Kathmandu
Theatre Mall is an organization led by youth theatre enthusiast. Since its establishment in August 2014, is mainly a platform and institute for regular Theatre plays; which is organized by the youth theatre artist who have been into this profession for about a decade. Read more.. facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheatreMall/ Address: Kirtipur, Kathmandu
Outside kathmandu, some theatre groups have opened their own theatre in cities like Pokhara and Biratnagar, aside few mobile theatres and streetplays, theatre culture beyond these cities is somewhat nonexistent.