On Thursday night, the usually dark and gloomy campus of National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) campus was lit up with decorative lights to kick-start the institute’s first ever theatre festival. An auditorium packed to the brim with an enthusiastic audience was testimony that the festival was long-awaited in the metropolis.
The event started with words by some of the theatre veterans who are also senior faculty members at Napa. “Theatre is a huge blessing because it challenges our thought process, forcing us to question things,” said Napa President Zia Mohyeddin. Keeping it relevant and to-the-point, Mohyeddin said that this theatre festival has been a goal of the Academy ever since it was formed.
Meanwhile, veteran Rahat Kazmi, who is the head of the theatre department, was glad that the youth has finally has taken charge. “A time comes when the older generation has to make way for newer faces and that is why we (faculty members) have completely eliminated ourselves from the festival so that the graduates take the onus from here,” he said.
The festival kicked off with an impressive and experimental performance “Mein Muntazir Hoon” by final year students of Napa, who portrayed the various issues of today’s youth. Directed by the Special Programmes Manager Zain Ahmed, the play stars Ishtiaq Rasool, Waqar Naaem, Raheel Ahmed and Hameeruddin whereas its music is composed by Ahsan Rabbani and Arsalan Rabanni.
The story revolves around four adolescents who reflect upon their issues by narrating their own stories and playing multiple characters — a prince perturbed by his troublesome father, a villager who falls in love with a beautiful statue, a pleasure-loving nawab who spends his days sleeping and a young boy from a royal family suffering from an unknown disease. Rasool, who played every character with immense precision, proved to be the most talented of the lot.
In a nutshell, the play was an unconventional approach to theatre and despite some technical glitches, it was worth watching. Additionally, the inclusion of a multimedia projector enhanced the experience for the audience.
The festival continues till March 11 with daily theatre performances at 7:30 pm.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2012.
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