Theatre Culture

Binaya Ghimire

A person who has been watching drama performances since he was a child, one thing this scribe has noticed in the Nepali theatre is the dearth of dramatic literature for theatrical performances. The translated works have taken the center stage in Nepali theatre since a long time. We have a horde of drama writers, however, most of the plays from these writers are not written for performance but for reading. Well, a good director can easily adapt any drama or literature for the stage, however, in absence of performative plays, theatre is showcasing translated works.
Mythology, folklore, history, fictional works and poetry are important sources for theatre. These literary, cultural and mythological works are also easier to handle in theatre because they provide a readymade structure, character, scheme and even dialogues. In Nepal, where the tradition of dramatic writing in the native language is fairly recent phenomena, good dramatic literature does not exist or artistic original plays are rare. Therefore, many theatre artistes and directors have attempted to dramatise novels, poetry and short stories, and fill the gap in the theatre.
When good stories and characters are selected and handled with understanding and imagination, presented with stylistic and structural approach, these adaptations have immense dramatic potentials. If the director chooses a low quality play or does not have vision to transform on stage, theatre loses charm. The director must have imagination and skills. He must be able to reject the traditional form and experiment with form and staging techniques
In the live and active theatre, in Nepal, India, the UK, the US, France, or any country, presenting translated works is an essential part of the theatrical productions. In fact, very few languages in the world can provide enough good plays, which are relevant and satisfy the taste of different audiences and the theatre crews. Aesthetic and social interests of people vary. Therefore, translation becomes inevitable in the theatre.
Translated works when well presented on the theatre, they can maintain freshness, novelty, variety along with artistic standards. Literary exchange and interaction amongst people from different cultures and countries is a result of communication technology, which has brought different people closer. This has led to awareness and mutual give-and-take between various cultures and countries.
In order to operate and function properly, the theatre art form needs different kinds of skills and specialisations, for instance light, sound, designer, art director, etc. However, in our country Nepal, this is lacking in most of the theatre groups, directors and theatre persons. In absence of skilled manpower, it is usually the director who carries most of these special functions of various theatre specialists. The director may also take help from people working on stage or off-stage.
The theatre culture is improving in Nepal. We have moved forward from hobbyist theatre to professional theatre. The theatre persons are also utilising the existing level of awareness and tools. The playwrights, director as well as the theatre persons are occupied with the form. They use it as a weapon to evoke emotions in their audience. The theatre has now begun to revive.

 

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