Anyeint Portraits

Anyeint is a style of theater performance in Myanmar. It is comprised of comedy acts which focus on political and social issues. Along with dance and music, cross dressing scenes are a dominant theme throughout all Anyeint entertainment. They often include critiques of the Myanmar government. Anyeint was most popular in the 1970s, during a period of socialist rule. In 1973 an Anyeint troupe scriptwriter Maung Myat Hmaing wrote the Dancer of the Ganges, which was one of the first Burmese plays to speak about democracy. It was after the bloody uprising of 1988 when Anyeint became a target of the former Burmese government. Those performing in the theatre that criticized the government at the time were placed under arrest; most notably, Zaganar, a well-known Burmese movie star who has performed in Anyeints throughout his career. He was imprisoned for critiquing and criticizing the Burmese government. These cross dressing portraits are of famous Burmese movie stars who normally work in the Myanmar film industry. In an old tent behind an outdoor theater they prepared for an Anyeint.

Photography, Digital Photography, Photojournalism
Khin Hlaing, a famous Burmese comedian who is mostly known throughout the country of Myanmar for his movie roles. © Bethanie Mitchell
Kyaw Tun, a Burmese comedian who performs traditional theater in the country of Myanmar. © Bethanie Mitchell
Zaw Linn, a Burmese comedian well known for his roles in traditional Myanmar theater and film. © Bethanie Mitchell
Kin Kaung, a famous Burmese comedian who is mostly known throughout the country of Myanmar for his movie roles. © Bethanie Mitchell
Pho Soult, a Burmese comedian well known for his roles in traditional Myanmar theater, as well as Burmese films. © Bethanie Mitchell