The story of fire
Himalayan News Service
The playwright, director, actors and, most importantly, the audience are essential elements in making a play successful. This thought was expressed by major literary figures, playwrights, critics and theatre workers at a programme organised on February 13 by Arohan Theatre Group to mark the anniversary celebration of the Group, Sama Theatre, as well
as the 100th stage performance of ‘Agniko Katha’, a play written by Abhi Subedi and directed by Sunil Pokharel.
‘Agniko Katha’ was first performed on February 6, 2003 to inaugurate the Sama Theatre at Old Baneshwor. Since then, it has been staged in different parts of the world — India, Russia, Denmark and Nepal, etc. In the sixth Bharat Ranga Mahotsav, it was able to make an impression on the audiences and was considered one of the top 10 best plays.
Playwright Abhi Subedi said, “I find every performance a new one. Already it has derived multiplicity of meanings in a variety of audiences. I have realised by now that a playwright has a very little role to play and he is no more than only a part of the creative group.”
Similarly, for Sangeeta Rayamajhi, the play evokes so many associations both personal and academic. According to her, “hundreds of performance of Agniko Katha meant many things and most importantly it is a proof that it has been able to make large number of theatre audiences”.
Tulasi Diwas, a prominent writer and critic, held that he is not anxious about the circumstance and the environment in which a book is written. He also added that “the meaning should be derived from the text itself rather than imposed from outside. And this meaning could be diverse to different people just like the characters in the play
who go in search of their own missions and find an answer for their question accordingly”.
Director Pokharel, shared his experiences and the struggle undertaken by Nepalis theatre artists. He remembered performing a play for less than six spectators sometimes. He thanked everyone for making this collaborated effort successful and especially Abhi Subedi for writing such a great play, Anup Baral for designing the set and Avas for his music, Shechan Monastery for providing a dance teacher for teaching various postures and the costume. He did not forget to thank the wonderful audience without whom the performance would have no meaning. His happiness was unbound for the number of audience is increasing these days.
The programme was followed by the stage presentation of ‘Agniko Katha’. Anup Baral, playing the monk Gyan and Nisha Sharma Pokharel, playing the role of a nun were at their best. From the day of its first show the play has derived new meanings in the minds of the spectators according to their experiences in life, at an individual, or, the national level.