Courtyard Theater Festival (Shumang Leela Festival)

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Country and Region IndiaManipur
Type of Festival Drama
Location of Festival Manipur, Manipur, India
Festival Description

Shumang Leela is a traditional from of courtyard theatre of Manipur. Historically the form dates back to the 1800s when men enact the roles of women in plays and dances. The meaning of the title is derived from Shumang meaning “open courtyard” and Leela meaning “play”. Originally women were not permitted to participate in these events, however, over the course of time women have been introduced through forming their own theatre groups. Courtyard theatre has evolved over time to also include youth and gays as participants — providing a platform that is all inclusive in the performing arts.

Festival Dates February 3 - 23, 2010

Other Sources:

Articles and Reviews:
  • Shumang Leela festival from Feb 3 (Hueiyen News Service, January 24, 2010)


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