We Lost Heisnam Kanhailal- Well-Known Manipuri Theatre Legend (Download PDF)


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Heisnam Kanhailal the well-known Manipuri theatre personality passed away at the age of 75 years due to illness. He served in theater for last 40 years; he was a playwright, director, and actor.

Image of Heisnam Kanhailal

Image of Heisnam Kanhailal

Image of Heisnam Kanhailal

About Heisnam Kanhailal

  • Born on 17th January 1941 in Keisamthong Thangjam Lairak, Imphal.
  • Founded Kalakshetra the theatre laboratory in Manipur during 1969 and served as its director.
  • Developed a very ingenious outlook of Manipuri culture in his theatre production.
  • Pebet was a well-known political play styled with oral Manipuri traditional stories. It became his revolutionary production.
  • He is survived by his wife Sabitri Heisnam who is also a Manipuri theater personality.

Heisnam Kanhailal Awards and Honours

  • Manipur state Award for Theatre
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1985
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow in 2011
  • META Life Time Achievement Award in 2015
  • Padma Shri in 2004
  • Padma Bhushan in 2016

About Sabitri Heisnam (Surviving Wife)

Image of Sabitri Heisnam

Image of Sabitri Heisnam

Image of Sabitri Heisnam

  • An actor and notable theatre personalities of Manipuri theatre.
  • Started her career as child artist inspired by her aunt Gourmand Devi.

Her notable work is:

  1. ‘Ekhoulangbi’ in Ekhoulangbi (1970)
  2. ‘widow mother’ in Tamnalai (1972)
  3. ‘old woman’ in Kabui Keioiba (1973)
  4. ‘mother pebet’ in Pebet (1975)
  5. ‘tribal woman’ in Laigi Machasinga (1978)
  6. ‘Mi’ in Memoirs of Africa (1985)
  7. ‘Thambam’ in Migi Sharang (1990)
  8. ‘Radha’ in Karna (1997)
  • Acted in the Madhushree Dutta’s critically acclaimed short film, “Scribbles on Akka” (2000). This film has won the IDPA Award, best script award at Shanghai International Film Festival and the National Film Award for Best Anthropological Film.

Sabitri Heisnam Awards and Honors

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991
  • Padma Shri in 2008

- Published/Last Modified on: October 10, 2016


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