Pakistani theatre enthralls Indian audience

                                                            Zain Ahmed
 Zain Ahmed, Artistic Director, National Academy of Performing Arts(NAPA), Pakistan, feels that theatre can act as a medium to help bridge differences and reconcile conflicts between India and Pakistan. Art and culture joins hearts of individuals living on both sides of the border.

Recently, NAPA Repertory Theatre, Pakistan, performed a play named “Stumped” at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, as part of the 4th International Theatre Festival organised by Kalindi Bratyajon. Stumped addresses the two major obsessions in Pakistan: cricket and conspiracy theories. Corruption in cricket becomes a metaphor for the degeneration of society and the play holds up a mirror to the audience, who can see the collapse of idealism and principles and yet, continue to support a decaying and corrupt system. Talking about the present scenario of theatre in Pakistan, Zain Ahmed told "We are seeing a growth in theatre and films in Pakistan. The last ten years have been very interesting as there has been many institutes including NAPA and quite a few universities that have started programmes to train people in filmmaking and theatre. Now graduates from these institutes are coming into the market and creating opportunities for themselves. If we provide enough training to enough people, obviously the art form will grow. A lot of social issues are being highlighted in the plays, a lot of political theatre is being done apart from comedy, musical and satirical plays. For instance, Anwar Maqsood has now started writing plays and his plays
are very strongly satirical."
(L-R) Hammad Khan, Ubaid Iqbal, Zain Ahmed, Rauf Afridi, Huma Tassawar, Erum Bashir and Hammad Siddiq
 Other major attractions

Oscar Castro Ramirez
Besides teams from Kolkata and Delhi, troupes from Aleph Theatre, Paris, Janakaraliya, Sri Lanka, and Prachyanat, Bangladesh performed at the festival. Speaking about the current theatre scenario, Oscar Castro Ramirez, Director, Aleph Theatre, France, told, "There is both good and bad contemporary theatre. Good contemporary theatre is one which I can understand. Every playwright, director, actor should have a humanistic approach and try to have a political impact through his work. Art has to be healthy to the one who is doing it and to the one who is watching it."

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