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Streaks of theatrical lightning at Sarwanam
As the art scene in Nepal thrives more today than it used to be in the past, theatre enthusiasts have been coming up with innovative and creative ideas to encourage as well as promote aspiring young talents. The 10-minute play is a genre in theatre that allows artists to express their stories within a short time-frame i.e. 10 minutes.
The time constraint pressed by the form has in no way limited the genre’s power—on the contrary it enhances it, forcing playwrights to get the story moving swiftly and keep dramatic action tight, encouraging actors to showcase their talents by playing multiple roles, and allowing audiences to enjoy an expansive spectrum of theatre in one sitting.
As it is popularly said, “A ten-minute play is a streak of theatrical lightning. It doesn't last long, but its power can stand your hair on end.”
Sarwanam Theatre hosted the third season of All Nepal Ten Minutes Drama Festival from January 5-8 at 4:30 pm at the theatre premises. A total of 23 dramas were performed during the four-day theatre festival. The event aimed at promoting the works of new artists. Interested candidates were given a chance to showcase their act after being censored by senior theatre artists of Sarwanam Theatre.
Coordinator of Sarwanam Theater, Raj Shah said, “We can notice a lot of changes in this season of the All Nepal Ten Minutes Drama because this time we have censored the plays and chosen only 23 dramas out of 42 applicants.” As the organizers wanted to ensure good quality rather than quantity, they checked if the applicants had the basic knowledge of performing drama without props.
As many as four plays were performed on the last day of the event, on Monday. All the plays were based on social, political, psychological, and cultural aspects of Nepali society. The solo play directed and performed by Jeevan Jung Thapa ‘Dui Nambari’ depicted the truth of foreign employment and how Nepali migrants are left in the lurch once they step on foreign land. Similarly, another solo drama ‘Sadak Balak’ directed by Subash Basnet portrayed child labor and the struggle of such kids against the modern society. “I tried my best to tell my story within the 10-minute time frame,” he said.
Meanwhile, ‘Tedex Mecrophilia’, ‘Bidhuwa Ko’, and ‘Pieuso’ directed by Satish Parsai, Bhawana Neupane and Prakash Khatri, respectively also received thunderous applauds from the audience on Sunday.
My City team talked to a few audiences at the event to know their views on the fest.
Patrika Ghimire, 22, BBA student at Shankar Dev Campus
I’ve been to several other plays and drama festivals, but this fest was quite different than the others because of the time limit. I was expecting different kinds of stories, but all the plays at the fest presented the same social issues that are shown in other dramas. Props like mobile phone, decorative and colors were not used in the plays, so I found them pretty boring. Though all artists tried to present their best, I personally liked ‘Teddx Microphilia’ best as it tries to show human psychology in a different way. I hope such drama fests will help to boost the theatre market and encourage aspiring artists.
Pranab Akash, 23, Bsc student at Amrit Science Campus
I am an avid drama fan, and I have visited a lot of drama festivals. One of the major differences that I found in this festival was the time limit, as it was creating difficulties for the artists to conclude the act on time. I had visited the first season of the festival, but this time, the concept of the stories is completely different. I also liked the way the artists presented their act through different mediums like poems, narration, dance and so on. In spite of several challenges, the drama fest was successful in telling stories through spectacular performances.
Sankar Bhandari, 22, Theatre artist
Though the time limit created difficulties for the artists to present all their content, the artists proved that a mixture of hard work and dedication definitely leads to success. All the acts were wonderful and impressive. I don’t have any specific favorite act as all the stories comprised different issues prevalent in our society like foreign employment and human trafficking.
Jeevan Jung Thapa, 24, Actor/model
Being a theater artist, I initially doubted if it was possible to present all your content within 10 minutes. But when the festival kicked off and the artists took the stage, my confidence got high. It is a challenge to present and act your story within ten minutes, but Sarwanam Theater proved it is possible. The theatre showed that a quality act can be presented within ten minutes if you have the determination. Such festivals can be a good platform for new artists in terms of affordability because the cost is comparatively low due to the use of minimal or no props.