The history of theater in Pakistan and the future prospects of the art form were the topic of conversation on Sunday held at the Pakistan Arts Council as part of the 2020 annual Karachi Theater Festival.
The lecture which became the second talk at the festival was entitled “Theater in Pakistan: Past, Present & Future”. Previous talks had been held the week before on the artist’s dilemma in treating their work as a profession or passion.
“Theater is about emotion,” said Arshad Mahmud, senior actor and music director. He said that great performers know how to impress audiences with their art and expressed hope that those who study theater today will become great performers in the future.
The talk was moderated by young director Kulsoom Aftab. Panelists include Mahmud, writer and director Samina Nazeer and director Fawad Khan.
Describing theater art, Samina said that what creates art is pain. “When there is pain, the artist will express that pain through their performance,” he said. He also called for not compromising the quality of theatrical content. He specifically praised the services provided by the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) for the revival of the theater.
Khan advised theater professionals to make their profession their passion. “If you are passionate about your work, you will surely succeed. There will be obstacles in your way, but you can fulfill all your dreams if you work hard with dedication. “
He also said that performing arts institutions have played a positive role in the development of theater arts in the country. The festival, which runs until October 18, offers dramas in various genres for the Karachi people. Individual gaps were also maintained in the auditorium to ensure social distancing to contain the new coronavirus infection.
Unstaged dramas include Henrik Ibsen’s’ A Doll’s House ‘(13 October),’ Begum Jan ‘Javed Siddiqui (14 October),’ Ishq Ke Baad ‘by Krishan Chander (16 October),’ Lights Out ‘Manjula Padmanabhan and’ Goodluck Darling ‘Ather Shah Khan Jaidi (17 October).