Shumang Leela, the traditional form of theatre in Imphal

Shumang Leela, the traditional form of theatre in Imphal

The 50th All Manipur Shumang Leela Festival 2021-2022 started at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen at Palace Compound in Imphal.

Manipur Governor La Ganesan and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh attended the inaugural function.

Mr. La. Ganesan said that the present day Shumang Leelas have been trying to focus on the issues of moral values, unity and integrity. It has also been trying to strengthen the bond of brotherhood and friendship among various communities in the State.

Shumang Leela

Shumang Leela or Shumang Kumhei (English: Courtyard Play) is a traditional form of theatre in Manipur, North East India. The theatre is arranged in the form of open air from four sides. The roles are all played by male actors, some dressed as beautiful ladies. This traditional theatre form was prevalent since the time of monarchical rule in Manipur. But the proper form of Shumang Leela had its inception in 1895 A.D.

In 2017, Shougrakpam Hemanta was conferred with the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in recognition of his contribution in Shumang Leela. With this, he became the first person to receive the award for this art form.