IMPHAL, March 21: The Festival of Plays of the North Eastern region began today afternoon at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Akademi auditorium with an enthralling performance of Rabindranath Tagore’s ABHISAR by an Assamese theatre group PURBANGA based in Guwahati.
The 4-day festival organized jointly by North East Zone Cultural Centre Dimapur, Manipur Art & Culture Department and Banian Repertory Theatre Imphal will feature 3 other theatre groups from Manipur.
The other plays to be staged at JNMDA are BISARJAN of Manipur Dramatic Union, KSHUDHITA PASAN of Theatre Mirror Imphal and SANYASI of Manipur Ensemble. Interestingly, all the plays are either written by Tagore or based on his poetry.
The theatre festival began with a tribute to late Maibam Surshen Singh, NSD Alumnus and Founder Director of Banian Repertory Theatre.
The festival was formally opened by Dr RK Nimai Singh, IAS and Commissioner of Art & Culture of Manipur Government with Professor N Tombi Singh, Vice Chairman of JNMDA in the chair.
Speaking at the function RK Nimai said, despite its vibrant theatre tradition and eminent directors theatre is yet to find a wider audience of theatre in Manipur.
He lauded Banian Repertory and its present director MC Thoiba for its efforts to popularize theatre movement in Manipur.
Speaking at the function Professor N Tombi Singh said, in the north eastern region theatre movement Manipur and Assam occupies a very special place.
Using Sattriya and Ojapaali dance forms of Assam besides Kathakali, Seujpriya Borthakur in the role of the harlot Basavdutta enthralled the audience with her high powered performance and dances in the opening play ABHISAR.
The Director of the play Gunakar Dev Goswami has more than 40 plays to his credit and has written 10 plays. Today’s play ABHISAR was an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem of the same name. He is in seach of an alternative Assamese Theatre.