Manipuri open air traditional theater consists of "RAS", "THANGTA", "MOIRANG PURB" and "VAARI LEEBA". In post-1947 period the drama groups "Roopmahal", "Manipur Dramatic Union" and "Aryan Theater" gave a big impetus to the drama movement by producing many good plays. Among the playwrights the actor-dramatist Sarokhai Baam, Laleet Khomdram, Dhanachandra and Birmangal have earned fame on the Manipuri stage. Parallel to the professional theatrical companies, non-professional theater came into being in around 1970 of which the two must praiseworthy names are Kanaiyalal and Ratanthiyam.

Ratanthiyam is a playwright whose first play was "NAWAB NANDINI". He has trained with National School of Drama at New Delhi. In 1976 he started his own Drama Training Institute named "KORAS JUTH" and under its banner produced the plays "CHAKRAVYUHA", "IMPHAL", "URUBHANG", "ANDHA YUG", "KARNABHAR" and "ASHAD KA EK DEEN" which became highly popular and received critical acclaim. Ratanthiyam in his plays has integrated traditional Manipuri art and war techniques with modern dramatic arts.

Among the modern Manipuri dramatists, another name stands out and that is N. Shribren. His plays "KHONGIHAR", "HALLAK PAR" and "ANI" are important plays.

Lokendra Aaram Baam is another notable dramatist of the Manipuri theater. His plays "KHUMAN CHAKHA" and "MOIRANG GAMBA" being the most appreciated plays.

Manipuri Theater has thus made its own important contribution to the development of the Indian Drama.

A Note

The information presented here in respect of the Manipuri Theatre has been gathered from available sources. It has been like an attempt to gather pearls from the ocean. It is possible that some happenings, names of some dramas and dramatists and drama artists may have been left out. For our lack of knowledge we seek your forgiveness and at the same time request the experts in this field to draw our attention to any errors or mistakes by writing to us the correct details. We assure you such corrections will be promptly carried out.

Further the names of dramas, playwrights and drama artists who are listed here are not in any order of priority of their qualities or achievements but only with a view to present the information as it has been gathered.

Lastly we once again request you to send in your suggestions, information etc. in respect of Manipuri dramas and thereby enrich this humble record of the Manipuri Theatre.



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