NITFest 2022 Opening Ceremony

Nepal International Theatre festival 2022 is going to be inaugurated on 25th of Nov, 2022. The venue for the opening ceremony is Mandala Aagam (Open Premises) at Mandala Theatre, Thapagaun, New Baneshwor.

The opening ceremony will be graced by VIPs, theatre artists, litterateurs, students and general public.

A book इन्द्रधनुष- यो छिमलका सात नाटक will also be launched during the festival.

About the performance

Playback theatre is used in various contexts from purely performative formats to conflict resolution, and peace-building, and from engagement through dialogue and discourse to understand and work through the issues of representation. The roots of playback theatre are in theatre, rituals, community storytelling, psychodrama, and education. It was first developed by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas with a group of performers in Hudson Valley, in 1975. It is practiced in scores of countries around the world. 

We believe that a playback performance for the Nepal International Theater Festival would be a great way for the audience to co-create an experience of being a part of this space that houses diversity across borders. Given that our team is a mix of different cultures and nationalities we believe this will be a unique experience for the audience to share stories with us and have them played back. 

The theme of our play ‘Together and Alone’ is an ode to the resilience that each of us showed during the time of the ongoing pandemic. Through our performance, we aim to be witnesses of stories that capture the essence of solitude, resilience, unity, pain, love, loss, and a range of varied emotions that folks have been experiencing during these unpredictable times. As playback performance invites stories from all walks of life we believe our performance would be a transformative experience for the audience in order to visualize how they’ve been feeling to organically witnessing them in artistic representations. While the aim of a playback theater performance is not to advocate itself as a therapeutic tool, we believe that bringing this platform to this year’s Festival would be a much-needed cathartic experience for all audiences.  

Synopsis of show

Playback theatre is an improvisational form of community theatre where we invite the community/ audience to share real-life, first-person feelings and stories to be played-back theatrically, along with music, movement, and metaphor. Though usually done live in an intimate physical space, it is, since early 2020, practiced and performed online due to the pandemic. 

In this performance, we will invite you to share your stories with us and we will perform these stories back to you by co-creating a space of listening, sharing, and performing. A performance usually begins with short feelings/emotion-based questions asked by the conductor, who is the link between the audience and the performers and progresses to longer questions that asks audience members about their real-life stories that they are inspired to share in that moment and time. A performance goes on for about 90 minutes. These performances will center on empathetic listening to the stories, creating connections between the attendees, and creative exploration of the stories in a manner that is resonant of social themes as well as the particularity of specific emotions nesting in those stories.

Director's note/Playbacker's note

Together and Alone in these trying times, we witnessed people isolating themselves

Together and Alone in these times, we found democracies breakdown step by step

Of wars that were waged despite a global outbreak 

Of climate catastrophes that unfolded in front of your eyes

Of stories that happened inside closed doors that never came out 

And amidst all of this

Together and Alone we witnessed communities coming together in solidarity 

For truth

For justice 

For peace

In these testing times encountering isolation and at the same time also finding unity and togetherness have been plenty. Together and Alone is a playback theatre experience that aims to take the audience on a journey of stories that allows moments of self-reflection and sharing. With everything happening around us globally, we believe an afternoon of a playback theater performance offers a space for deep listening and reflecting. Let’s Watch! 

About the Group

We are currently an unregistered group named Enroute KTM/BLR and have mostly come together as an organic group for the purpose of performing for NITFEST 2022.

List of casts

Deepthi Bhaskar

Gunjan Dixit

Laxmi Priya

Akash Narendran

About the play

Set in Western Nepal’s Kham Magar community, “Kubhindoko Katha (Story of Ash Gourd), a folklore-based play takes us close to the ultimate truth of mother nature. It celebrates the fact that nature has made us different from one another with our strengths and weaknesses and emphasizes the need to accept each other’s existence. It acknowledges the difference in our appearances with different abilities and roles in family and society. It regards such diversities as nature's plan to complement one's weakness with another's strength to ensure everyone's role is vital, be it small or big for the smooth functioning of this world. It also advocates that diversity and coexistence is something that makes our society resilient and vibrant where the needs and existence of all are cared for and respected. It is one of the seven plays developed through the five monthly long playwriting projects organized by Mandala Theatre-Nepal in 2022. 

Play Synopsis

Khima, the main character of this play, is a folk tale-based character who is rejected in many ways by everyone because of her physical appearance. She is compared with others and mocked and questioned frequently due to her abilities. Consequently, a sense of inferiority develops in her that does not allow her to open up among her friends and society. This play takes us through how the central character overcomes her fear and inferiority and saves the people from the greatest crisis of drought in her village. In nutshell, this folk drama is a perfect blend of nature's grandeur with human relations and emotions and gives a strong message that all the things that coexist in nature have their own essence . 

About the Director

Dayahang Rai is the founding chairperson of Mandala Theatre-Nepal. Rai, one of the most popular Nepali film actors, has been working in theatre as an actor, director and playwright since 2002. Born in the Bhojpur district of Province 1 of eastern Nepal, Rai started his theatre career as an actor and later explored his interest in playwriting and direction. He has written around a half dozen contemporary Nepali plays and directed around a dozen. 

Director’s Note

Directing this play was a challenging task for me. The plays that I have directed before were related to my own culture and traditions mainly from the eastern part of Nepal. That’s why, I had a good understanding of the dramatic elements used in the play. But, as Kubhindoko Katha is based on Kham Magar culture of western Nepal, different from my own culture and experiences, Being new to this culture, I had to do my research to preserve the authenticity of the culture , which was quite a stimulating and exciting artistic journey for me. I have tried my best to use the right and meaningful dramatic elements to make the play worthy to watch by using dance and musical forms from the same culture and folklore practices. I hope this play hopefully conveys the importance of diversity in nature. I am very thankful to the entire cast and crew of this production who believed in me to work on this.

About the Playwright / Translator / Adaptor

Born in Dhangadhi of Kailali of Sudurpaschim Province, Pranish Magar has been active in Nepali theatre for the last few years.  He is currently doing his graduation in Nepali literature and journalism at Pashupati Campus, Kathmandu. Besides writing, he has a special interest in music, acting, travel, and photography. He has been actively writing, acting, singing, and playing musical instruments for a number of plays.

About the Group 

Mandala Theatre - Nepal is a group of young, enthusiastic, and dedicated theatre workers of Nepal. After long training and individual involvement in this field, in 2008 a group was formed to keep working in this field. It has devoted itself to explore, popularize, and preserve the varieties of traditional and indigenous theatrical forms of Nepali society, and looks forward to work even more actively in the days ahead. Mandala Theatre Nepal is a registered company that delivers theatre productions and related services. It is also registered as a non-profit organization to serve its respective vision and mission for social responsibilities.

A conventional musical performance that tells the story of a mythical stone that has been standing entact being the saviour of Kirati civilization. It in one hand shows the story of stone and in another hand critiques the indifferent eyes of the government who threatens to destroy the stone without thinking about the sentiment of Kirati people.

A conventional musical performance that tells the story of a mythical stone that has been standing entact being the saviour of Kirati civilization. It in one hand shows the story of stone and in another hand critiques the indifferent eyes of the government who threatens to destroy the stone without thinking about the sentiment of Kirati people.

Organized by
Mandala Theatre Nepal
Strategic Partners
Gowin Production
Encore Media
Diverse Patterns
Accessibilty Partner
British Council Nepal
Supported by
Kathmandu Metropolitan City
Nepal Tourism Board
German Development Coorporation
German Development Coorporation
Civil Peace Project
Venue Partner
Pathshala Foundation
Video Partner
Foto Crystal
Hospitality Partner
Hotel Le Himalaya
Hydration Partner
Jalapa Fresh Drinking Water
Energy Partner
Hunk Energy Drink
Sign Language Partner
Nepal Association of Sign Language Interpreters
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Nepal International Theatre Festival is organized by Mandala Theatre Nepal. Website by Diverse Patterns
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