Community / Street Drama
Real life story
Conflict Theatre in Your Village!
Kachahari Theatre is a kind of interactive drama where the audience themselves direct a
performance about their own lives. In the Nepali language, the word “Kachahari” means a
village gathering or a place to seek justice. It refers to a traditional kind of people’s court
where villagers gather to hear and resolve conflicts in their own community. Kachahari theatre
attempts to create this kind of forum using drama. The first half of a play is presented by a
group of actors.
They go to a village ahead of the performance, observe and ask the locals questions about
their lives and the kind of conflicts with which they are confronted. In this case the actors are
people from the local communities that have learned some basic acting skills. They already
know the broad basis of the conflicts, but through informal discussions with people they learn
how such conflicts are seen and experienced locally.
Based on this reality, they put together
the first few scenes of a play. The
scenes incorporate aspects of daily life
in the village in which the audience
lives, and uses words and expressions
that the locals use. The play builds up
to a dispute that represents the social
conflict in which local people are
caught. A vigorous discussion takes
place when the audience is asked to
suggest answers to the conflict, and
the actors show the suggestions on the
spot. Various ideas are tried out and
their consequences shown. In some instances members of the audience come into the play
and act out their own ideas. The stage seems to provide a place that is safe to try out ideas.
Consciously or subconsciously the audience knows that the play is really about themselves,
but the world of drama creates a space where one’s imagination can be seen acted out.
Real Life story by kind permission of MS Nepal
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