Napa’s young directors take the lead | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Napa’s young directors take the lead

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: November at the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) will witness the Young Director’s Theatre Festival with six plays exclusively directed by Napa graduates as part of the line-up.

“Our young graduates are our primary responsibility and so this year we have decided to provide them with a platform to direct plays with a twist. They have revisited older texts, reinterpreted and adapted them and will be presenting them to audiences with different levels and types of experimentation,” said Napa Repertory Theatre artistic director Zain Ahmed at a press conference on Thursday.

All six directors were present to share an insider’s take on their interpretations.

Khalid Ahmed’s play Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Na Kijo has been renamed by director Akbar Islam as Khel Khel Mein and is to be staged on Nov 18-19.

Shahzad Jalbani will be directing Sakha Ram Binder, written by Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar. “Tendulkar is my favourite writer as he brings to the fore controversial issues. This play will revolve around the life of a man who refused to conform to the rules of society and lived life on his own terms.” The play will be staged on Nov 20-21.

American play Time Stands Still by David Margulies will be adapted on stage by Ishtiaq Rasool. “War impacts the lives of each and every person and this topic needs to be discussed.”

The play is closely inspired by the ‘war on terror’ and the impact it has had on this part of the world; it will be staged on Nov 22-23.

Hammad Sartaj will be presenting two of Shakespeare’s characters in one production — ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Iago’. “My play Here Lies a Noble Man will explore the theme of ambition and both ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Iago’ are the epitome of this emotion.” It is to be staged on Nov 24-25.

Farhan Alam shared how he came about to adapting his play, Hatim Tai. “When I first read the tale of ‘Hatim Tai’ I realised the extent to which it is magical, mystical and musical all at the same time. This is my attempt to rejuvenate our cultural roots,” he said.

Another reason for dramatising the tale of ‘Hatim Tai’ is because though most people have heard about the magnanimity of ‘Hatim Tai’, not many remember the particulars. The play will be staged on Nov 26-27.

Kashif Hussain will be adapting Henrik Ibsen’s play Ghosts on Nov 28-29. Hussain has recently returned from an exchange programme at the University of Texas, Austin and plans on using dance as a medium of expression in his production.

“Ibsen’s play was a family drama restricted to just one room. However, my treatment of the script varies in this context. I have also used movement, drama, dance and silence in this interpretation,” he said.

Promoting inclusiveness onstage

An important collaboration between Napa and the British Council was also announced in which disabled students will be part of an inclusive theatre project.

“The performance called The Iron Man is a small effort to bring the marginalised disabled community into the mainstream. The students part of the production are either deaf or blind,” said Mr Ahmed.

“We want this to become a tradition in Pakistan as is in many countries to reduce the helplessness and stigma attached to the disabled.”

Directors and designers from England will also be part of the production. The play will be staged at Napa on Nov 13.