National Playwriting Competition

Published On: July 28, 2016 11:15 PM NPT By: Republica

Search for Nepali originality
KATHMANDU, July 28: Kathmandu’s theater scene is vibrant these days. With more theater houses in operation and a gradual increase in the theater culture, many believe that we’re witnessing a theater renaissance. Major theater groups are mostly busy performing Nepali adaptations of foreign plays, staging original Nepali plays has become a rarity.   

NG Group, a youth-led team of artist, has announced a nation-wide playwriting competition titled ‘National Playwriting Competition’ to encourage Nepali writers to submit original Nepali plays.

“Nepali theater is too dependent on foreign plays. Our vision is to encourage Nepali writers to contribute original materials,” Bimal Dahal, president of NG Group, said during a press meet at Mandala Theater on Thursday.

Dahal’s group had participated in a seven month long ‘Managing Art’ workshop organized by Siddhartha Art Foundation (SAF). The outcome was the design for the national playwriting competition.

“The art sector of Nepal faces a lot of systemic challenges. The participants of the workshop were taught to use management tools to turn those challenges into opportunities,” Nischal Oli, SAF’s representative said at the event. SAF has planned to provide grants to micro-projects of the participants of their ‘Managing Art’ workshop. NG’s playwriting project is one of them.

The competition will take place in multiple phases. In the first phase, writers are to submit a 1000 word short play, which could be either in English or Nepali, by August 28. The submitted plays will be judged by actor/director Anup Baral, writer Anbika Giri and writer Upendra Subba. Then the ten shortlisted playwrights will attend a master class with Indian playwright Mahesh Dattani to polish their plays. The winning play will be produced on stage while the top three plays will be published as a book by Shangri-La Books.

Nabina Aryal, the program coordinator, said that the competition has a larger theme to connect literature and theater. NG group has previously produced the play ‘Uh Kasko’ based on writer Shankar Lamichhane’s short story. “This is our pilot project but we are working hard to make it a success so that we can hold this competition yearly. This is a platform to promote Nepali playwright and will also work to develop Nepali theater audience,” she said.

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