All Plays Folk Performances Manipuri

NUPIGEE THAMOI (Shumang Leela)

Playwright: Manaobi MM
Director: Yumnam Rajendra
Group: Peace Maker Artistes’ Association, Manipur
Language: Manipuri
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins


The Form

Shumang Leela, literally translated as Courtyard Theatre has been the mainstay of the Meiteis, the Tibeto-Burman people who have inhabited the Imphal valley since time immemorial. Originally a form of nautanki, Shumang Leela metamorphosed into full-fledged theatre over the years. A unique feature of this art form is that the audience surrounds the stage from all sides. Male artistes not only enact the roles of female characters to perfection, but also sing just like women do. The content of the leela can be comedy, folk-lore, legends or social commentaries.


The Performance

Prince Naothingkhong was the third son of emperor Urakonthouba of Manipur (568-663 AD). A stubborn young man, he ran away to the hills where he found Petanga, a beautiful girl who was the only child of Shelloi village chief. Naothingkhong married Petanga secretly and promised her that she would be the queen of Manipur when he sat on the throne. The villagers revolted and wished to kill Naothingkhong because his father was a bitter enemy of the clan. So he escaped from the house of Petanga and sought asylum under the patronage of Khuman King. Petanga was punished by her own people and had to escape. Naothingkhong ascended the Khuman throne and married the Khuman princess. No sooner did Petanga get the news, she invoked the goddess Yumjao Lairembi and vanished with her last words of lament, “man has no power to realise true love”.


Director’s Note

The story of the play is based on legendary events of Manipur that possibly took place during 665-785 AD. The actors have worked hard to represent the age-old society and to convey the emotions of the characters during a month-long Manipuri Shumang Leela workshop. This experimental production is still in its initial stage, rather incomplete and unfinished I would say, and has a long way to go.


The Director

Yumnam Rajendra is a renowned theatre director, playwright and actor. He was trained in Manipuri theatre under the noted director Heisnam Kanhailal from 1973 to 1982. He worked as a director of Panthoibi Natya Mandir, Imphal and participated in many national and international festivals of India and abroad. He was awarded the Vayoshrestha Samman Award in 2017, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007, award for sculpture in tribal wood carving art of Manipur and Junior and Senior fellowships by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. At present he is a visiting guru of the Department of Theatre, Manipur University of Culture.


The Playwright 

Manaobi M.M. is a renowned writer of radio-plays, Shumang Leela, Manipuri film-screenplays and lyrics. He has written more than 50 plays and published above 20 plays. He is presently working as the President of Cine Writers and Playwrights Forum of Manipur.


The Group

Peace Maker Artistes’ Association, Manipur was established on 5th of August 2002 in Imphal. This association is an autonomous body and one of the leading Shumang Leela groups of Manipur. It has participated in various state, national and international festivals like 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2019, 2nd Delhi International Art Festival 2008 at FICCI Auditorium organized by NSD, 8TH Delhi International Art Festival 2014 supported by Sangeet Natak Akademi at Meghdoot Theatre Complex etc. The group has produced more than 40 plays.


Cast and Credits

Naothingkhong Yumnam Arunkumar Singh
Petanga Yumnam Milan
Keirunghangbi Senjam Deepson
Leima Naman Chaobi Bishesh Huirem
Khuman Ningthou Laishram Ibotombi Singh
Amukangoiba Sorokhaibamibohanbi Singh
Luwang Ningthou, Pakchao Athokpam Santosh Singh
Moirang Ningthou Naorem Tamphasana Meetei
Goddess Maibam Roshan
Soldier Gurumayum Rajesh Sharma
Soldier Thoudam Premjit Singh
Soldier Thoudam Premananda Singh
Deity Leiphrakpam Survchand
Deity Sougrakpam Chinglennganba
Musician / Female-Vocal Linkmabam Biky
Musician / Singer Naorem Jeetenkumar Meetei
Musician / Actor Seramromajit
Musician / Actor Laimujam Binoy Singh
Music Director Moirangthem Robert Meetei
Playwright                                   Manaobi M M                                    
Director          Yumnam Rajendra



Mr. Yumnam Rajendra

Peace Maker Artistes’ Association

Paona Bazar, Governor Road

Near G.M. Hotel

Imphal- 795001, Manipur

M: +91 9366427125, 9856108385


Yamata Amasung Keibu Keioiba (10)
All Plays Indian Plays Manipuri


Playwright & Director: Heisnam Tomba
Group: Kalakshetra Manipur
Language: Manipuri
Duration: 1 hr 5 mins


The Play

The play is an attempt to interweave two folktales – Yamata no Orochi from Japan, and Keibu Keioiba from Manipur. Yamata no Orochi is a serpent-dragon in Japanese myth, who has eight heads and eight tails, and its enormous body reaches across eight valleys and eight hills. It is a legendary story of how a young ingenious boy Susanoo saves a beautiful lady Kushinada from Yamata who was about to devour her. Yamata had already devoured seven of her elder sisters. In the Manipuri tale, Keibu Keioiba is a creature having half tiger and half human features. He kidnaps a young girl Thabaton, who was home alone. However, a clever old lady manages to make Thabaton’s seven brothers take revenge and save their sister.

The play highlights the virtues of sacrifice and martyrdom through the conversation between the mythical images of Japan and Manipur interwoven together to tell the stories of two hilltops.


Director’s Note

The play is an attempt to capture two different cultural tales and explore the possibilities of interpretation of these two cultures. It is an intercultural experiment of stories, music, dance and performing traditions. However, the attempt is also to give a contemporary meaning to the rich folklore of both the cultures of Japan and Manipur.


The Director & Playwright

Heisnam Tomba began his exploration of the world of theatre with his parents, Kanhailal and Sabitri, both well-known Manipuri artists. From them he received extensive training to be a director, playwright, music director and actor-trainer. Heisnam Tomba absorbed finer nuances of these skills early in life. He has written eight plays; has directed more than ten dramas including Kshudito Pashan by Rabindranath Tagore and An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen; and has been the music director for two of Kalakshetra’s best known productions, Dakghar and Draupadi. He specializes in voice and movement training, and has taught at institutions in Delhi, Mumbai, Mysore, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Patna, Heggodu, Bangladesh and Singapore. His versatility received recognition when he was awarded the National Sanskriti Award and Senior Fellowship by the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi. He has directed an off-beat feature film Nobap in Manipuri.


The Group

Established in 1969 by late Shri Heisnam Kanhailal, Kalakshetra Manipur has evolved a distinctive theatrical style that is predominantly non-verbal. The group is dedicated towards expressing the realities of oppression and resistance that are a part of day-to-day living in Manipur today, through plays like Pebet and Memoirs of Africa. Other major productions of the group are Tamna-Lai (Haunting Spirit), Keibu-Keioiba (Half Man-Half Tiger), Khomdon Meiroubi, Imphal ’73, Izzat, Karna, Lajja, Kshudito Pashan, Draupadi, Dakghar, Samnadraba Mami (Disjointed Image), Hungry Stone and An Enemy of the People.


Cast & Credits

Yamata Maisnam Momocha
Keibu Keioiba (1) Kshetrimayum Priyobrata Singh
Keibu Keioiba (2) Pangambam Tyson Meitei
Susanoo Romario Thoudam@Paona
Iben Hanubi Kh. Sanjukta Devi
Mapa Ahanthem Upendro Mangang
Mama Huidrom Holina
Kushinada Roslin Akoijam Chanu
Thaba Thangjam Salini Devi
Mithingai Guru Koken
Chorus Takhellambam Budhichandra

Anantakumar Longjam

Lanchingna Laishram


Light Laishram Ibochouba
Sound Designer Oinam Prasanjit (Boby)
Music Arranger Moirangthem Bise
Music Operator Moirangthem Prasanta Singh
Crafts Ch. Kunjakeshwar
Costume Khumanthem Sanjukta
Make-up Huidrom Holina
Set & props Guru Koken
Theme Picture Sketches Wahwngbam Robin
Yamata Written by Prof. Devraj
Translation (Manipuri) Prof. IS Kangjam
Translation (Manipuri to Eng.) Dr. Usham Rojio
Production Manager Kh. Ushakanta Singh
Assistant Director Pangambam Tyson Meitei
Production Kalakshetra Manipur
Acknowledgements Phurailatpam Nandakumar Sharma

Ningombam Jadumani


Playwright & Director Heisnam Tomba



Kalakshetra Manipur

Langol Laimanai, Lamphel, Imphal – 795004

M: +91 7641031211


Play Photo8
All Plays Indian Plays Manipuri

TUREL WANGMADA (Another side of the River)

Playwright: Arun Yumkham
Director: H. Shatananda Sharma
Group: Raag Tarang Mandal, Imphal
Language: Manipuri
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins



The Play

Desperately seeking her lost spouse, a woman reaches the bank of a river. She wants to cross the river and reach the other side. A weird boatman in a strange boat ferries her across. On the other side of the river, an occultist is performing the rites of necromancy, invoking dead souls. The woman asks the sorcerer to call upon the spirit of her lost husband. The sorcerer agrees and the spirit appears. The woman tries to talk to the spirit of her spouse, but the spirit accuses her of being unchaste, and walks away to the eternal path of dead. The woman tries to drown herself but the boatman saves her. He points his finger to the golden rays of a new day in the eastern sky.


Director’s Note

In the future is an era of chaos, a catastrophic atmosphere where unpredictability is lurking everywhere. Chastity of women is a commodity. People are machines in a decaying state of sparsely populated society. In the hearts of humans, memory and pangs of separation burn like a hellish flame. Lust is not quenched even by the physical state of men and women. They are at their ugliest, maimed and tortured. Yesterday’s truth is no longer the same because of the situation created by the unexpected, drastic changes.


The Director

Hanjabam Shatananda Sharma received training from his father in the field of traditional performing art forms (Courtyard Theatre). He learned various forms of Manipuri Dance from his aunt H. Aruna Devi (MSPA Awardee). In the field of theatre he received training from Late M. Surshen (NSD Alumnus). Under his guidance he researched on body motion and movement in the theatre for three years in FFLT. He got the opportunity to interact with FFLT director, Lokendra Arambam, participate in theatre workshops and play productions as an artist along with MC. Thoiba (Director BRT) and Shree N. Tiken (Musicologist). After a long theatrical journey Shri Sharma began his new ventures as a director.


The Playwright

Arun Yumkham, is a playwright who has been associated with various theatre groups and artists, musicians and dancers of the state. He has published two books of poetry collection in English and also a novel. He has written more than 100 radio drama scripts for educational programmes of SCERT, Manipur. Currently he is working as the Assistant Editor (Design) in local news daily Ireibak.


The Group

Raag Tarang Mandal was established in 1980 at Imphal East district of Manipur by Smt. Hanjabam Aruna Devi. Since its inception the organisation has been undertaking various cultural activities for the presentation and revival of the indigenous system of rare art forms including Manipuri folk dance and music, with its own resources. Under the leadership of H. Shatananda Sharma, a group of young talented artists, well-trained in various performing art forms, are producing stage plays for the last 10 years. The group’s play Turel Wangmada was invited to participate at the Abhinya National Theatre Festival at Hyderabad in the month of August-2016. The play has also participated in Folk Narative Art and Kangla Theatre Marathon 2017 at Uchiwa, Manipur and received the Best Director Award and bagged four awards in different categories. The organisation has been offering training courses, demonstration of Manipur classical and traditional art forms and its allied arts.


Cast &Credits

On stage N. Lokeshwor, Ch. Basanta, Th. Roshan, W. Amarjit, M. Momocha,
L. Ananta Kumar, M. Captain, L. Birjit, H. Jamuna Devi
Stage & Setting W. Amarjit / Ch. Basanta
Costume & Make-up Arun Yumkham / Ch. Thanbi
Light Design A. Madan Sharma
Music Assistant H. Shreedhar
Playwright Arun Yumkham
Music, Design & Direction H. Shatananda Sharma



Director, Raag Tarang Mandal

Wangkhei Ningthem Pukhri Mapal, Imphal

Manipur- 795005

M: +91 9774214817



All Plays Indian Plays Manipuri


Playwright & Director: Ratan Thiyam
Group: Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal
Language: Manipuri
Duration: 1 hr 5 mins




The Play

Through the ages seven Nymphs have been flying around the world, witnessing the changes in nature, environment and human condition.

Peace of sky

Peace of earth

Peace of water

Peace of trees

Peace of man

The Nymphs are flying towards 22nd century . . .


We live in 21st century, which is an era of globalization, worldwide mobility, communication and information. Our culture and tradition derives from food gathering, varieties of magical fertility rites, connectivity with ancestors, earth, sun, moon, sky, forest, water and creatures. Immediacy of life experiences is recalled in movement, sound and rhythm. Sometimes it is woven into daily practices or annual happenings, and sometimes with sowing, reaping and harvesting. Further, it also relates to the protection of our own community. The local and indigenous myths and legends continue to be the most effective source of inspiration for both verbal and non-verbal vehicle of expression and interpretation.

The play is woven around the importance of identity, tradition and preservation of culture in modern times. The play tries to decipher many challenges faced by our rituals and traditions which carry the identity of our culture, inherited from our ancestors. The content of this play serves as a confluence of modernity, the past, present and future where very important issues, complex aesthetics and philosophical challenges are negotiated.


Director’s Note

My theatre, my piece of work and expression is a response to my existence in everyday life. It contains my tradition, inspiration of myth and legend, and even the lovely and tastiest cuisine that I consume.

Eagerness of entering an unknown area, new and untried methods, and unfamiliar devices helps me in my experimentation. In each new piece of work I feel that I am wrestling with techniques to find out the exact vehicle of expression for the thematic content.

I am a dreamer and my dream takes me forward in my journey. I feel as if I am coming back from a pilgrimage after each and every production I have completed. A good theatre carries the ability to leave behind an imprint on the intellect and senses of the spectators. It is a vehicle of expression for sharing thoughts to a wide ambience across intellectual, cultural or linguistic boundaries.

I am just trying . . .


The Director & Playwright

Writer, director, designer, musician, painter and actor, Ratan Thiyam is one of the most important and influential theatre makers at work in the international performance scene. Renowned for its disciplined performance practice, spectacular aural and visual aesthetics, and potent thematic explorations, Thiyam’s work has placed him in the company of such figures as Suzuki, Brook and Grotowski. In 1971, he enrolled at the National School of Drama in Delhi, gaining a reputation as a powerful actor and director. In 1976, he returned to Manipur and founded CRT. Except for a two-year stint as Director of NSD in the early 80′s, Manipur has remained both the physical and aesthetic foundation for his work.


The Group

The Chorus Repertory Theatre was established in the valley of the small hill state, Manipur in the easternmost part of India, in April 1976 under the able and dynamic guidance of Ratan Thiyam.

Located on the outskirts of Imphal, Manipur’s capital city, Chorus Repertory Theatre’s two acre campus has been slowly built (and six times rebuilt after disastrous monsoons) to accommodate a self-sufficient way of life with housing and working quarters for the company. On its 25th anniversary, the company built its first permanent theatre called ‘The Shrine’, a 200 seat auditorium conceived and designed by Ratan Thiyam, with space for set construction and storage. Equipped with its outstanding performances in many international festivals in India and abroad, this repertory has earned the prestigious Fringe Firsts, Edinburgh International Theatre Festival Award, 1987; Indo-Greek Friendship Award, 1984 (Greece); and Diploma of Cervantino International Theatre Festival, 1990 (Mexico).


Cast & Credits

Chingaleima Takhengbi Indira
Lanjinleima Piyainu Russia
Hayenkhombi Taruni
Shaleima Anjelina
Uleima Shandhyarani
Heibongkhombi Jaya
Shananu Rojita
Ningthou P. Somo
Wangban Shaphaba IbomchaSorok
Meitreng Araba Robindro
Thengraiba Nongdamba
Chengheiba Lokendra
Manai-I Anish / Inaoba
Manai-II Ajitkumar
Shadanba-I Nongdamba
Shadanba-II Ajitkumar
Shadanba-III Lokendra
Shadanba-VI Robindro
Stage Manager Robindro
Set & Props Nongdamba, Ajitkumar, Anish/ Inaoba
Costume Somo, Somorjit,Tarubi, Russia, Rojita,
Shandhyarani, Indira
Music Assistants L. Tomba, Basanta, Somorjit
Light Assistants Thawai Thiyam, Angoutombi, Ibomcha Sorok
Consultants Smt. N. Amusana Devi, W. Keinatombi Leima
Production Manager Ibomcha Sorok
Assistant Director Thawai Thiyam
Script, Music, Design & Direction                 Ratan Thiyam


Ratan Thiyam

Chorus Repertory Theatre

Howbam Dewan Lane

Imphal – 795001