ICN 2020

Nilanka: A Musical


The aftermath of a civil war in the late nineteenth century saw the emergence of various family groups of the Batak tribe in North Sumatra.

A kingdom in the East is home to Arta, the crown prince, whose leadership style has always been questioned by the people. Deemed spineless and weak, Arta loses confidence each day closer to his coronation despite constant reassurance from his doting sister Manik.

Their fierce uncle, Kareang, is a visionary with an ambitious plan for the kingdom. As a wise temporary ruler, his plan is catalysed by Hasea, a royal physician, who is captivated by the king’s charm

Across the forest stands the kingdom of the West, led by Batara, who is known for his unrivaled wisdom. Greatly respected by his people, the only person whom he cannot seem to get through to is his beloved daughter, Nihita.

Restricted by the expectations of being a graceful princess, Nihita longs to break free and prove her worth to lead the kingdom as an equal. Yet, her father hardly even lets her out of the palace walls.

A retelling of the Batak folklore 'Dayang Bandir and Sandean Raja', Nilanka chronicles the characters' intertwined journey in fighting for their own purpose. When a decision goes wrong, one step could change the course of their lives - forever.


  • Arta

    Played by Abhirama Radithya Santoso

    Arta is the son of the late king of the East. Unlike his charismatic father, he is rather reserved and gentle in nature. Struggling to fit in the mold cast by society and shunned by his people, he questions his worth everyday. As his coronation day approaches, Arta’s resolve strengthens, and he vows to finally be the king he is meant to be.

  • Batara

    Played by Hagata Raguel Jehoshua

    Batara is a wise ruler to the West Kingdom, and a loving father to Nihita. Wishing for his daughter to be just like any normal princess, feminine and refined, his views are often opposed by Nihita, although all he wants is for her to be safe. With his failing health, he realises he needs to make an important choice to protect his family.

  • Hasea

    Played by Michelle Doreen Surja

    Hasea is an excellent physician who works in the East. Her position in the kingdom allows her to spend a lot of time with the royal family, especially Manik, who is her best friend. While she may be logical in carrying out her duties, her actions are driven by her free and passionate heart. For those she loves, Hasea is willing to sacrifice anything - even her life.

  • Kareang

    Played by Nasya Willis Chailim

    Kareang is an uncle to Arta and Manik, and is the temporary ruler to the East Kingdom. A fierce and ambitious ruler, his steps are calculated and precise. With his strong hand, Kareang ushered a golden era to the East. However, with his nephew’s coronation around the corner, he shifted his focus on preparing the throne for its new, permanent leader.

  • Manik

    Played by Ausie Miranda Widawati

    Manik is Arta's older sister, who wants nothing but the best for him. To Arta, she is a pillar of support. To the people, she is a strong and intelligent woman who can handle disputes and problems reliably. Caring and proactive, Manik is always there to guide Arta to take over the throne, ensuring that their father's legacy lives on. What she doesn't realise is that her doting acts make their people doubt Arta even more.

  • Nihita

    Played by Aileen Laksmono Lie

    Nihita is a princess from the West, widely known as the "tigress" by her people. Though they never minded her unconventional nature, there was one person who seems to have never been impressed: her father. She always tries her best to convince him that she is capable of doing things her own way, but she feels like she is just being made to be someone she is not.


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