A traditional style of theatre from Manipur has entertained and informed audiences for centuries.


About ‘Shumang Leela’

  • The meaning of this theatre form is “courtyard performance”, which is performed in Manipur.
  • In this, the roles of women are all played by men, called Nupi Shabis.
  • In the case of women’s theatre groups, the roles of men are played by women.
  • The female roles are taken up by transgender actors.
  • The tradition is believed to be descended from Lai Haraoba, a ritual of the Meitei community of Manipur.
  • The plays provide a vehicle for educating the public about social, political, and economic issues.
  • Types – Shumang Leela is of two types —
      • Nupa Shumang Leela – Performed only by men
      • Nupi Shumang Leela – Performed only by women