10 May 2023

Akademie der Künste Presents the Theatre Performance Pah-Lak by Abishek Majumdar with an Ensemble from Tibetan Exile

Theatre Guest Performance
In Tibetan with German subtitles
Wednesday, 17 May, 7:30 pm
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg

The Akademie der Künste presents the theatre performance Pah-Lak by Abishek Majumdar on 17 May on the Studio stage at its Hanseatenweg venue. Eight Tibetan actors perform in this co-production by Tibetan director Lhakpa Tsering, head of the Tibet Theatre, and German theatre-maker Harry Fuhrmann. This is the first time an acting ensemble from Tibetan exile is making guest performances in Europe. Following the start of the tour on 9 May at the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and a performanceat the Hans-Otto-Theater in Potsdam (13 May), the Akademie der Künste is the third to host the theatre production in Germany.

Pah-Lak (Tibetan for “father”), written by the Indian dramatist Abishek Majumdar, provides insights into the hopes and contradictions in the fight for Tibet’s autonomy, Buddhism’s role in the lives of the Tibetan people, and the ongoing debate about resistance and non-violence. The stage production is based on actual events in Lhasa, the capital, during the Tibetan unrest in 2008, research the dramatist conducted in Tibet from 2013 to 2019, and collaboration with the Tibetan exile community. A young Buddhist nun named Deshar is at the heart of the story. When the religious community she lives with defies mandated re-education measures, the cloister is closed by a Chinese police officer. It drives Deshar to make a desperate decision.

Following its English-language debut in 2019 at London’s Royal Court Theatre, in 2022, in collaboration with the author, the work was performed for the first time in Tibetan, in Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile (CTA) and the exile home for several thousand members of the Tibetan people.

With Pah-Lak, the Akademie der Künste’s Performing Arts Section continues its special event series of theatre works in which non-European artists deal with existential social issues. Previous guest performances featured Transit Tripoli, after Anna Seghers, staged by Lebanese director Caroline Hatem and Journals of Exile, based on Brecht’s Der Jasager and Der Neinsager, performed by the KULA Compagnie in collaboration with artists from the Afghan Simorgh Theater. A guest performance staged by Iranian director Narges Hashempour is planned for September 2023 – it is a theatre adaptation in Farsi by Keyvan Sarrestheh and Zahra Mohseni, based on motifs from Marion Brasch’s novel Ab jetzt ist Ruhe.

by Abishek Majumdar

Performers: Kalsang Dolma, Tenzin Yonten, Tenzin Wangchuk, Yangkar Dolma, Lhakpa Tsering, Tsering Bawa, Tenzin Pema, Tenzin Lhundup
Directed by Lhakpa Tsering and Harry Fuhrmann
Stage design: Timo Dentler and Okarina Peter
Music: Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Tenzin Passang and Nyima Dhondup
Co-production: Tibet Theatre, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (India) and the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, in cooperation with the Tibet Initiative Deutschland and the Gesellschaft Schweizerisch-Tibetische Freundschaft
In Tibetan with German subtitles
The tour’s organiser is the Tibet Initiative Deutschland e. V.
Further information (in German) can be found here.

Event Information
by Abishek Majumdar
Wednesday, 17 May, 7:30 pm
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Admission: € 18/9, ticket reservations: +49 (0)30 200 57–2000; ticket@adk.de
Online tickets: www.adk.de/tickets
Press tickets and reservations: presse@adk.de or Tel. +49 (0)30 200 57–15 14