LAHORE: The Punjab government is taking strict actions against the commercial theatres’ administration teams within the province. The Punjab Home Department has written letters to all other provinces’ Deputy Commissioners (DC) District Police Officers (DPO) and Directors of Arts Council to shut down theatres that are violating rules and regulations.
Recommendations have been sent against actors and artists who use inappropriate dialogues and uncouth, vulgar dance moves during their performances. It was further said that there should be a complete ban on such artists, whichever theatre they may perform in.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, a source from the Punjab Home Department said, “One major complaint we received was that all theatres are presenting dramas without taking into account the script. The artists utter their own inappropriate dialogues in the presence of families sitting in the audience, which will not be tolerated.”
The government of Punjab is actively observing commercial theatres around the province, especially in Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan amongst other cities where arts council halls and commercial theatres exist.
According to the Civil Secretariat’s sources, many complaints against the theatres’ administration teams and artists have been lodged due to the promotion of vulgarity and violation of the code of conduct.
Other complaints included regarding clashes between plays and the mismanagement within the arts councils. Following these, some artists were permanently banned from performing.
“Many theatres have made it a habit to continue stage dramas throughout the whole night, although the theatre halls are supposed to be closed by 1 am. Besides this, they are only permitted to perform five songs during a show. However, we note that there are around ten performances within each show,” the sources further revealed.
They continued, “Theatre halls have become a place for dance shows, rather than drama performances. We have even received complaints about viewers throwing cash on the performers, which is strictly forbidden.”
It is partly the Punjab Home Department’s responsibility to manage the security and discipline at all stage halls in Punjab. They are to monitor all teams and departments connected to the theatres, as well as keep a check on scripts and performances in order to maintain the code of conduct and law and order.
“Many big personalities of the past are now avoiding working on stage due to the offensive nature of it. This ‘tradition’ has deeply damaged the commercial theatre industry. Families have stopped coming as well because of the unsuitability and unfitting atmosphere,” theatre director Goshi Khan expressed.
“However, the good thing is that there are still a number of artists who continue to do appreciable work. They hope for constructive theatre but ideal dramas are only possible if grand operations are conducted to maintain codes of conducts,” he concluded.
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