Theatre arts never gained a desired prominence in Bhutan. The little presence it had in the Bhutanese society is also waning.
Tshering Dorji is a theatre actor and Founder Manager of Happy Valley Theatre. He says, the true humanoid artistic expression of theatre is lost with numerous challenges and criticism. However, he believes that the liveliness of theatre is incomparable to any other automated media.
The diminishing popularity of theatre has been attributed to the bombardment of digital media. “Of course television is important but it’s digital media whereas theatre is human… When life comes on stage and creates illusion, it’s magical. It is not automated or mechanized substance that’s happening on stage,” said Tshering Dorji.
The Director of Department of Culture, Dorjee Tshering, said the developing film industry has changed the taste of the audience. “The standard that we expect of plays has gone up tremendously with the movies and also with media and multimedia coming to our country. Films, any day will be better liked and watched.”
He said infusion of traditional and modern play system could be one option to upgrade stage plays.
He said enactment during tshechu is still successful. He said Zhungdra and mask dances beautifully portrays Bhutanese tradition.
Dorjee Tshering also said imitation of foreign actors can be seen across the country these days. In order to retain and promote traditional theatre, department of culture has planned artist exchange programme this year. “We will be having artists from Italy and America and they will be collaborating with some of our artists from RAPA,” he said. They will be staging an opera this year.