The city district government has told the city’s theatres to shut down by 12:30am and to stop obscenity in dance and dialogue.
Officials of the city government, Home Department, Punjab Arts Council and Alhamra Arts Council met with theatre owners and producers to discuss the new rules. All plays must now end by 12:30am, the theatres were told. The theatres previously had a deadline of midnight, but were frequently open till 1:30-2:00am.
The theatre owners and producers were told that all scripts must be cleared by a censor board and that dancers must be fully clothed. Any actor caught delivering vulgar comments or dancing in an obscene manner would be banned forever. An actor would only be allowed to work in one play at a time and will be required to take an oath to this effect. Full dress rehearsals of plays must be shown to censors three days before opening.
It was also decided that security would be tightened; security cameras and scanners would be installed at all theatres. The owners were told to keep their theatres clean and stall holders were warned that they would be fined if they were caught overcharging.
District Coordination Officer Ahad Khan Cheema asked the officials to implement the new policies and warned that anyone violating the rules would be treated according to the law.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2011.
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