By Renuka Dhakal Kathmandu, July 12: Generally, audiences of a play observe performances of the characters in the stage. However, playwrights, of late, have been using different ways to add extra novelty to their drama.
In this context, playwright Ramhari Dhakal has been staging a new experimental drama Inside Outside Part IV at Mandala Theater, giving a new taste to all drama lovers. Inside Outside Part IV is a drama in which the audiences themselves become characters of the play.
According to Dhakal, Inside Outside Part IV is a sensory theatre performance where the audiences involve in the drama using five sensory perceptions.
In this play, the audiences are blindfolded, they are asked to take off their shoes and socks and are taken to a large hall. Piles of clothes, the slippery floor, the grains of rice on the floor, and the variety of sounds make the hall look like a haunted place.
The drama team takes the audiences to the hall and let them to experience its atmosphere without speaking. The audiences spend about an hour in that hall blindfolded where they will come in contact with several sensory objects, which one feels like seeing, smelling, hearing and touching the objects.
Blindfolded, barefoot, and without uttering a word, the spectators feel varieties of human sensations, including fear, trauma, love, support and excitement during an hour of drama. The play is called art of self-realisation, said director Dhakal.
It is a meditative form of play where the audiences realise their own selves without external interference from the outside world. Experience of the audience varies from person to person because what they experience in an hour of involvement in the play depends on their background and psychology.
According to director Ram Hari Dhakal, the concept of the play is influenced by the Maoist insurgency.
During the decade-long war, civilians suffered serious physical and psychological predicaments.
“During the conflict, people lost relatives, property, and nation’s wealth. The battle was over after the People’s Movement 2062/63 BS. Then, everyone dreamed of a bright future politically, socially, and economically but the dreams remained unfulfilled. Dreams only linger in our minds”, said Dhakal.
Inside Outside Part IV is a collection of real-life experiences of the 10-year conflict experienced by the Nepalis, informed Dhakal. To produce Inside Outside Part IV, director Dhakal talked to many Nepalis, mainly the people of Thawang in Rolpa.
He spent 10 days at Thawang village in Rolpa district and spoke to Thawang’s people about their experience during the conflicts.
Through in-depth conversations and interactions, Dhakal has gathered real experiences of the internal and external emotions that the war had created in people. After acquiring the real sufferings of the people in the war, he adapted those experiences into the form of a play where the audience retrospect their self through self-realisation.
The play, which started on July 7, will continue till July 17 at Mandala Theatre.