Guwahati girl Kismat Bano is excited to stage her play Helen at the prestigious Nepal International Theatre Festival (NITF), 2019. Kismat’s play has been selected along with critically acclaimed plays from Denmark, Italy, Norway and other Asian countries.

The festival starts from February 25 in Kathmandu.

“I’m excited and at the same time it’s a responsibility for me as a young director from Assam. It’s a great thing for me to go and perform there at this young age. The other participating directors with their plays are very experienced. The other Indians which have been invited there are lecturers at the National School of Drama. So, you can understand,” Kismat in her mid 20s told The News Mill.

Helen which has also been performed in Dhaka in an UNESCO programme in 2016, is her first play as a director.

The NIFT is a celebration of art, culture, traditions in the form of theatre performances. They are encouraged to incorporate the aesthetics of Jatra, Poetry, and the landmarks of Nepali Rangamanch together with vibrant productions from international sphere during the eight day long festival.

Altogether 10 plays from India will be staged during the festival. Another play ‘Black and White’ by Manipur’s Victor Thoudam will also be performed.

“It will boost me and encourage me to do quality work. There will be plays from European countries…and watching them… there will be little change in my way of production,” said Kismat.

There are five main characters in the play where Kismat plays the protagonist Helen, who is born with severe medical problems and grows up into a visually impaired and differently abled girl.

Kismat Bano 2 – The News Mill

This is the first play to be directed by Kismat. She was selected by the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) under the Union Ministry of Culture to receive its prestigious annual award of Young Talents Artistes Award for the year 2016-2017 from Arunachal Pradesh Governor P B Acharya in July last year.

Kismat has already acted in over 25 plays in different languages, including Assamese and Hindi.

She has also established her own theatre troupe Wings Theatre (cultural group) in Guwahati with a view to using theatre in education for children, conducting theatre performance-oriented workshops for orphans and girls in rural areas. Apart from that she worked with the students of Guwahati Blind School and staged plays with them.

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About Abdul Gani


Abdul Gani is a Guwahati-based journalist