First Nepalese Play to Debut Off-Broadway

Director Hari Bahadur Thapa at rehearsal (Photo by Sahadev Paudel)

Director Hari Bahadur Thapa at rehearsal (Photo by Sahadev Paudel)

New York City will witness an “off-Broadway show” from a Nepalese team this December.

This is going to be a unique show in New York since it is going to be the first time ever that an all-Nepalese cast is performing a play in the theater district of Broadway.

Titled “Jodiyos Bhatkiyeka Manharu” (which translates to “May the Broken Hearts Heal”), the play is written by the veteran Nepalese theater artist Ashesh Malla and is being directed by senior artistic director Hari Bahadur Thapa.

The Nepalese team organized a press conference on Nov. 15 at Chautari Restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens, to shed some light on the play.

“I have always wanted to show a play on Broadway in New York. I can see my dream coming true,” says director Thapa, who is currently in New York, and has been working very closely with the actors.

Actors rehearsing for the first "off-Broadway" Nepalese play (Photo by Sahadev Paudel)

Actors rehearsing for the first “off-Broadway” Nepalese play (Photo by Sahadev Paudel)

“The massive earthquake of Nepal has changed everything. Many people have lost loved ones and many survivors still don’t have shelter to live in or enough food to eat. The play reflects upon the loss, suffering and the pain people in Nepal went through; and the reaction of the people in Nepal and abroad who have been greatly impacted by the devastating calamity.”

Thapa adds, “New York is a city where hundreds of plays are performed every week. As far as I know, this will be the first Nepali drama to be performed ‘off-Broadway.'”

The cast includes Nadia Libang, Sangita Upreti, Dipika Shrestha, Sahadev Paudel, Anuz Thapa, Krish Thapa, Jyoti Kumar Shrestha, Crystal Thapa, Dil Ashma Rajak, Yadav Gautam and Bikash Bista.

Dipika Shrestha, 28, who plays the role of a journalist in the play, gave a two-minute performance from the play at the press conference.

The play is being staged at the 777 Theatre on Eighth Avenue between 47th and 48th streets in Manhattan on Dec. 13. At this auditorium with a seating capacity of 158, there will be two shows, one at 3 pm and the second show at 7 pm. Tickets are priced $25, $50 and $100.

“This is not just an entertaining play. This is a tragic reality of our life and we are simply performing among the world’s audience. This is not just a play but also life,” said director Thapa, inviting everyone to watch the one-hour play.

[Editor’s note: The play will be performed entirely in Nepalese without subtitles. However the brochure contains a description in English. In addition, the introduction to the play in the theater will be in both languages.]

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