UMT theatre event: Clumsy censors mar final day’s plays

Published: January 1, 2011

Festival organisers, participants blame each other.

LAHORE: The SICAS’s play on the second day of the University of Management and Technology (UMT) drama festival was marred by bleeps signifying the organiser’s objection to the dialogues.

Yasir Ejaz, director of the play ‘Ruk ja bandey’, said the dialogues were required to highlight the plight of a rape victim. He also complained about the audience some of whom kept commenting loudly during the performance. “We expected a more mature audience,” he said. The organisers took the University of South Asia’s act off the schedule saying that the dance performances included in the play were not ‘appropriate’ for the stage.

USA students said that they had been preparing for the performance for over a month. “The management should have communicated their concerns early on,” they said.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Abdul Mohsin, the festival director, said that it was his team’s first experience of such a large crowd. He said that some plays were taken off because the script submitted for them were incomplete. He said that the management had a strict policy against vulgarity and could not allow a performance that did not meet the criteria.  In the first performance of the day “Main Kia Hoon”, Lahore School of Economics team dealth with patriotism.

Anam Zahoor, the director, said that they wanted the need to show one’s love for the country through action and not just words. The play was written by Dawar Lashari and Hamza Ghaznavi.

Superior University’s mime ‘Thinking from heart’ followed LSE’s performance. It was directed by Naveed Ahmad.  Ahmad praised the UMT management for organising the festival, saying that such events could help promote the fading theatre culture in the city.

Other performances included University of Lahore’s play ‘Zindagi ki pehchan’ and University of Central Punjab’s ‘Diya jalaye rakhna hai’.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2011.

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