LAHORE: Lahore-based performing arts group Ajoka Theatre has been hosting a five-day spring training workshop with the aim of guiding young and aspiring theatre artists and presenting theatre as an effective medium of social change, stated a press release.
The workshop began last Tuesday afternoon, wherein Ajoka Theatre’s executive director Shahid Nadeem welcomed the participants post a documentary screening. He spoke highly of Ajoka’s contribution to the revival of social relevant and meaningful theatre here in Pakistan.
According to Nadeem, Ajoka Theatre has always been a hub for fresh talent and conducting workshops such as these has become a staple feature for the troupe as there are not many opportunities to learn about performing arts in the country.
More than 30 students – including actors, singers and seven female performers from drama societies all over Pakistan – were seen participating in the workshop. Renowned Pakistani theatre actor and training guru Naseem Abbas had been selected to spearhead the training programme, whereas Nayab Faiza assisted him in his efforts to mould emerging Pakistani artists.
Some of the many topics covered in the workshop’s extensive sessions were script-writing and acting techniques such as theatre games, musical exercises, vocal training, improvisation, dance and movement exercises, etc. Actor and director Nirvaan Nadeem, while sharing his own experience, added that the intricacies of artistic expression and the precise body language of an assigned character need special attention for one to become a good actor.
On the second day of the workshop, veteran actor Naeem Tahir led a session on voice projection, helping the students understand how to manipulate their voices and attain different dialects to get into character. He further briefed them on skills necessary for character building, not to mention the differences between performing on television and for a live audience in theatre.
Celebrated writer Asghar Nadeem Syed conducted a session about the significance of writers and writing in theatre production on Friday. Herein, he spoke of his own experiences, the creative thought process and everything that comprises a good script.
Of course, this is not the first time Ajoka Theatre is hosting an event of this nature. The group has previously conducted workshops in Swat and Quetta as well, hoping to promote theatre as a medium of social change everywhere. Its main aim is to spread the message of peace through it and push for socially relevant and meaningful art in Pakistan.
The workshop in Lahore concludes on March 10 with a showcase of some short productions made by its participants, based on everything they have learned over the last week. The closing event is to be held today at the Punjab Institute of Language and Culture. Graduates of the workshop will also receive certificates for their hard work.
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