PESHAWAR: Young people from various villages of Peshawar will be provided theatre training and folk music performance sessions under the supervision of seasoned artists and experts.
The purpose of this initiative is to share knowledge and expertise of theatrical performances among the youth of villages in the city, polish their talents and ensure they enter the field of drama and are equipped to commence a quality theatre in the city.
The sessions, which are currently being held in Mian Gujjar village, have been organised by Pakhtunkhwa Fashion Design and Art Council and are being sponsored by K-P culture department.
The training programme will be held in eight more villages of Peshawar – Khazana, Nakai, Duran Pur, Bazid Khel, Chamkani, Daudzai, Dalazak and Surezai.
In each village, more than 25 young people will be selected for the session for two days.
Nouman Rauf and Asfandyar Rahim are two main trainers of the programme while Zardad Bulbul, a senior artist, is the supervisor.
“The idea is to flesh out hidden talents of young locals so they can play their role in drama productions,” Bulbul said.
He added once familiar with basics, the youth, with the help of the government, will be able to produce some quality work.
Bulbul said such courses have been introduced for the first time and need to be extended. “The department should continue these efforts and extend them to other villages in the future,” he said.
According to Bulbul, the absence of suitable facilities is one of the primary reasons for the slow progress of theatre in the province.
“There is only one stage or theatre in town, Nishtar Hall, which has only been used for political gatherings in the past,” he said. “Whenever, there is a drama or a cultural music performance, it is packed with audience. This is proof enough that people are interested in performing arts.”
Bulbul added the Abasin Arts Council (AAC), which used to arrange live theatres in the streets of villages and cities to entertain and educate the people, has also lost its charm.
The idea of theatre was once floated by Najibullah Anjum, a senior artist, during the previous government, but it could not materialise due to uncertain security situation in the city.
He said although there are many universities and colleges across K-P, none of them teach theatre or performing arts.
“Moreover, there is only one public sector college of fashion and design which is also on the verge of closure due to lack of awareness and interest among people,” Bulbul said.
According to Pakhtunkhwa Fashion Design and Art Council Manager Irfan Durrani, another aim of these sessions is to use theatre to promote peace and change stereotypes.
“We can use this platform to go beyond our preconceived notions and bring tolerance in the region – one of the prerequisites for peaceful coexistence,” he said.
Durrani added the main focus of the training programme is to instil passion in the youth so they may be encouraged to solve the problems of society in a positive manner.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2016.