Napa’s Performing Arts Festival: Rising stars

Published: March 13, 2012
The Napa Performing Arts Festival brought to the forefront

The Napa Performing Arts Festival brought to the forefront some quality actors. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID


They say “All good things come to an end” but Napa’s Performing Arts Festival, which concluded on Sunday, is a new beginning for the academy and its artists. Years of hard work and rigorous studying finally paid off as the artists shone and received great applause from the audience.

Zain Ahmed, the in charge of Special Programmes at Napa, had given the students full authority to experiment — a decision that paid off. “The response has been amazing,” said a jubilant Ahmed.  “We had a very intelligent audience; there were people from all ages, from teenagers to grandparents, and they all were able to digest the intense narratives,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune.

A total of six plays and four music performances took place during the 10-day festival but some actors and musicians carved a special place in the hearts of the audience.

Actors who left a mark

Mansoor Ahmed as Salman

An alumnus of Napa, Ahmed hasn’t been part of many of the earlier Napa Repertory Theatre (NRT) plays but his acting in “Art” came as a pleasant surprise. He was genuine, funny and above all, managed to infuse a new spirit into the play.

Akbar Islam as Hermann Kafka

Islam, who has played crucial roles in almost all Napa productions, is a household name at the academy. But the character of Hermann Kafka, the father of German writer Kafka, brought out the best in him.

 Adnan Jaffar as Dr Waheed

Jaffar, who played the role of a scientist in the play “Koel”, managed to enthral the audience with his meticulous dialogue delivery. Earlier, Jaffer, impressed everyone as Sameer in “Art”.

Nazarul Hasan as Martin Dysart

Hasan is one actor who will go places if given the right direction. His remarkable portrayal of Martin Dysart, a psychiatrist, in “Equus”, shows what a talent powerhouse he is and what he’s capable of doing.

Musicians to look forward to

Ahsan Iqbal Bari

Bari’s performance of the afternoon raag “Madhmand Sarang” on the fourth day of the festival was indeed a memorable one. It was by far one of the best performances of eastern raags on western instruments and the inclusion of sarangi, in particular, left the audience spellbound.

Nadir Abbas

Abbas is a vocal powerhouse and his command on eastern classical music can take him places in the music industry. However, although he has proven his talent as a vocalist, Abbas is yet to impress us as a composer.

Talent powerhouse

Ishtiaq Rasool

Rasool, who played the role of Franz Kafka in “Kafka”, the young boy who blinds six horses in “Equus” and a lazy, laid-back nawab in “Hoon  Muntazir Mein”, was the pick of the festival. Performing such diverse roles to near perfection is a sign of a skilled artist.

Directors and producers should keep a close eye on him as he could prove to be an asset for the theatre and maybe even the TV industry.

What lies ahead?

With the massive success of the festival, the important question that arise is: What lies ahead for the institution and the artists? “We definitely plan to make this festival an annual event. Additionally, music fans should keep their fingers crossed as Napa is all set to organise an international music festival this year which will include participants from all the Saarc nations,” stated Ahmed.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Vajdaan Shah
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:43PM

    Just a suggestion, there should be two more names included in this list, that of Sunil Shankar as director of Equus, and Fawad Khan for writing and creating Khwaab Tha Shayad. Brilliant Execution! Hats off to all of them! :)


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