NAPA’s Young Directors Theatre & Music Showcase begins tomorrow
The lack of spaces and finances is a major hurdle for theatre artists who wish to present their work to a larger audience. Considering the dearth of halls to perform in and the struggle budding artists have to face in terms of sponsorship, NAPA has introduced a revenue sharing model to support them. With this model, the experts at NAPA wish to provide young thespians a platform to showcase their work without strangling them with financial burden.
The first initiative in this direction, Young Directors Theatre & Music Showcase, is all set to make its inaugural appearance this year. Beginning from today, the series will run till January 22, 2017 and will feature the works of NAPA graduates (mostly debutants) who have studied theatre in the past few years. The program includes 12 theatre plays alongside a slew of music performances that will be presented on the last two days of the event (January 21 and 22).
As far as theatre productions are concerned, there’s a fairly diverse line-up of plays that will be showcased during the series. Ranging from comic themes to serious ones with some tackling social issues, the plays are either based on pre-written scripts or are adaptations of foreign plays alongside a few original scripts. A unique feature of the program is its linguistic diversity. Of the 12 plays that will be presented during this initiative, eight will be in Urdu while the rest will feature Punjabi, Sindhi or Memoni language(s).
The series will open tonight with Vajdaan Shah’s directorial debut (Shah graduated from NAPA in 2014) Anthony and Cleopatra, which is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra. The play revolves around Mark Antony, who becomes one of the three rulers of the Roman Empire following the assassination of Julius Caesar and falls in love with the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. Anthony and Cleopatra tackles the themes of power and revenge.
This will be followed by Saari Raat, a play directed by Syeda Maha Ali that revolves around three characters – a couple and an old man. The story begins with the couple taking shelter in a wrecked house on a rainy night that is owned by a mysterious old man. What follows is the truth behind the couple’s seemingly happy relationship and how their lives change after that fateful night.
The Young Directors Theatre & Music Showcase also includes plays like Masood-ur-Rehman’s By Mishtake which is a situational comedy, Kaleem Ghouri’s Chullah – a Punjabi play that addresses the issue of stove burning which was a major cause of death in the ’80s and ’90s in Punjab – and Ubaid Iqbal’s Spy Games, which is based on a comedy thriller of the same name by Bettine Manktelow.
Other plays that are a part of the program include Shumaila Taj’s Raat, Maqbool Ahmed’s Dark Room, Zarqa Naz’s Heer Ranjha, Aqeel Ahmed’s Ek Biwi Ka Sawal Hai Baba, Taha Khan’s Izhar-e-Ishq, Taha Khan’s Latri Jo Lafro (Memoni) and Zakiullah Khan’s adaptation of Hamlet that will serve as the closing play for the series before the musical performances that are scheduled to take place in the last two days of the event.
Most plays will be presented at the NAPA auditorium daily at 8pm with only a few scheduled to be performed in the basement at 6pm. Tickets are priced at PKR 300 and 500 and will be available for purchase from NAPA and Agha’s super market, which is located in Clifton.
Though the first series as part of the revenue sharing initiative is restricted only to NAPA graduates, experts at NAPA do plan to extend their support to other young, aspiring theatre artists in the future.
If this continues, those who have a liking for theatre and want to pursue their career in the field will have more opportunities to explore and display their work.