Theater tour in Germany and Switzerland
Deshar, a self-confident young woman who has decided to become a Buddhist nun, lives in a remote village in eastern Tibet. When the nuns resist the ordered re-education measures, the Chinese police officer Deng orders the monastery to be closed. Deshar loses her last bit of freedom. Feeling powerless in the face of constant oppression, she decides to set herself on fire. "Pah-Lak" vividly tells of the hopeless situation of the Tibetans in their home country. The premiere of "Pah-Lak" took place in early October 2022 in Dharamsala (India). The play will go on a European tour in May and June 2023.
"Pah-Lak" is a play about Tibet today and the future of non-violence. It is based on the central question: is nonviolence still relevant in today's world, where most revolutions have taken a violent turn?
Since the annexation of Tibet in 1950, Tibetans have been struggling to survive their own identity, which is being systematically erased by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since 14, the 1974th Dalai Lama has advocated the mutually beneficial "middle way", which provides for the non-violent clarification of the Tibet situation through recognition as a genuine autonomous region of China. However, the quest for complete independence is deeply rooted in Tibetan society.
The piece "Pah-Lak" gives insight into the hopes and longings of the Tibetan people. It addresses the role of Buddhism in the lives of Tibetans and the dichotomy of the resistance movement, which has emerged from decades of oppression, discrimination and marginalization.
"Pah-Lak" means "father" in Tibetan. The play is based on extensive research by author and renowned Indian playwright Abhishek Majumdar, conducted between 2013 and 2019 in Tibet and in collaboration with the Tibetan community in exile. In Tibet, he interviewed Tibetans and Chinese from Lhasa, Shigatse, Kham region and Beijing. As part of his research, he also met the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and presented the project to him.
"Pah-Lak" had its English-language premiere on April 3, 2019 at the Royal Court Theater London - with Asian-read actors: without the participation of Tibetan performers: inside. The Tibetan director and head of the Tibet Theater Lhakpa Tsering, the German theater director Harry Fuhrmann and playwright Abhishek Majumdar are now realizing the new production of "Pah-Lak" with Tibetan actors: inside.
The play is to be performed in Tibetan and translated with subtitles. On the one hand, this offers the Tibetan actors the opportunity to deal intensively with their own language in the theater context and, on the other hand, it is intended to convey to the audience the urgently needed protection of the Tibetan language, which is threatened with extinction by the Chinese government's Sinicization efforts.
A co-production of Tibet Theatre with our Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts from Dharamsala/India in cooperation with the Tibet Initiative Germany, Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association and Ruhr Festival Recklinghausen.
You can find more information (and the tour dates in Germany) on the website of the Tibet Initiative Germany - here.
We thank the Giuseppe Kaiser Foundation thank you for your generous support of the project.