Karachi Theatre Festival, hosted by the Arts Council of Pakistan, is all set to kick off from July 22.
The 17-day festival will feature prominent theatre groups, directors, screenwriters, such as Zia Mohyeddin, Anwar Maqsood, Talat Hussain, Sajid Hassan, Sheema Kermani, Khalid Anam, Khalid Ahmed, Anjum Ayaz, Zain Ahmed, and others.
The announcement was made by Arts Council’s Muhammad Ahmed Shah during a press conference on Thursday. He was joined by Arts Council president Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqi, theatre committee chairperson Talat Hussain and others on the occasion.
The unique feature of this festival is that it caters to all segments of society in Karachi since there will be no entry fee. “The attempt is to make theatre and arts available to those people of Karachi who are unable to buy tickets and enjoy plays,” said Shah.
The festival will kick off with a performance on Urdu novelist Intizar Husain’s acclaimed work, ‘Khawabon ke Musafir’. This play has been directed by Zia Moheyeddin. The festival ends with Anwar Maqsood’s ‘Siachen’.
Karachi is called the city of lights, which is the centre of all cultural and tourist activities, said Shah. Unfortunately, in the last few decades, the city only makes the news due to terrorism, target killings, sectarianism, gang wars, unemployment, poverty and drug-related crimes, he added.
One of the reasons why this has become the case is due to a dearth of healthy cultural events, lack of access to extracurricular activities, and growing depression among young men and women, he reasoned, adding that this has led to more extremist tendencies, he added.
The main reason behind holding this theatre festival is to encourage cultural exchange and discussion on anti-extremist topics, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2016.
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