Purano Ghar, Kathmandu’s new theatre houseNepali theatre scene is soon slated to see a new theatre house. The foundation stone of the theatre house, Purano Ghar, was laid on Thursday by cultural expert Satya Mohan Joshi on the occasion of the last day of Dashain, Kojagrat Purnima.
Nepali theatre scene is soon slated to see a new theatre house. The foundation stone of the theatre house, Purano Ghar, was laid on Thursday by cultural expert Satya Mohan Joshi on the occasion of the last day of Dashain, Kojagrat Purnima. Purano Ghar, which will be based out of Sinamangal in the Capital, will have actor and director Sulakhchhyan Bharati as its creative director and actress and director Sirjana Adhikari as its managing director.
During the event held to announce the establishment of Purano Ghar, the organisers hosted a ‘Tika’ ceremony, picking up on the old Dashain tradition that used to take place at Gurukul—Nepal’s first privately-owned theatre house. The ceremony saw a host of artists from the theatre scene receive blessings from the heavyweights of modern-day Nepali dramaturgy such as playwright Satya Mohan Joshi, veteran actor Tika Pahari, and director Sunil Pokharel, among others.
With Purano Ghar, Kathmandu’s theatre circuit will now have six privately-owned theatre houses and the new theatre house has come as a much needed upshot in what has been a mixed few years for the circuit. In 2015, the Uttardhoka-based Theatre Village shut down due to financial reasons and this past May Theatre Mall too drew its final curtains. The teams behind both the theatre houses have, however, promised that they will soon begin their operations at new locations.
Although the rise of the number of theatre houses is remarkable, given Kathmandu’s small audience base, it has not been smooth sailing for the theatre owners. Industry insiders confide that theatre in Nepal remains a largely unprofitable profession with artists working with limited means and the remunerations they receive from plays only nominal, if at all. How would a new theatre house then contribute to the scene?
A power couple of Nepali theatre, Bharati and Adhikari, have been active in the theatre scene for over a decade. Boksi ko Ghar and Milk Tea, the duo’s latest productions together, were both lauded for their treatment of gender equity in Nepali society.
Speaking to the Post, creative director Bharati said that the new theatre house aims to explore new possibilities for Nepali theatre. “Sceptics might say that the new theatre would only divide the audience base, hence further crippling the theatre business,” Bharati said, “But we believe that the new theatre also raises the number of audience, seeking new crop of viewers with diverse tastes.”
According to Bharati, Purano Ghar will house a total of 150 audiences and aims to start operations from Feburary, 2018.