Pagah Sholi Dunyah enthralls Kashmir theatre lovers

On the second day of the ongoing Drama Festival at Government Women’s College here, Dilshad Cultural Forum presented the play, Pagah Sholi Dunyah written by Nisar Naseem and directed by Dilshad Mustafa. A large appreciative audience witnessed the play.

The story revolved around a greedy man who hoodwinks villagers through his machinations until two youth expose him.

The Drama Festival, organized by J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages after a gap of four years, was inaugurated on Monday with Makhan Lal Saraf written and Ayash Aarif directed play, Rath Wandai Malinyo.

Theatre persons and drama lovers have hailed the Academy for reviving the important cultural activity in the Valley. The festival is going on successfully given the interest the audience has shown in it.  In all, nine Kashmiri plays will be staged during the festival with June 6 being rest day.

At the inaugural function, Secretary Academy, Khalid Bashir Ahmad said that the festival was an important step towards promotion of performing arts in Kashmir. He said in March 2013, a drama festival was held at Jammu which was appreciated by the audience and theatre lovers in general. So far as Kashmir was concerned, he said, this annual activity could not happen for some years and it was his priority to revive the activity in the summer capital. He said although there was no restriction of language for the festival the fact that all the plays being staged are written in Kashmiri augurs well for the local language.

Describing the Academy as the premier institution to promote and propagate theatre in the State, the Secretary said that to achieve this objective financial assistance is given to theatre groups to encourage theatre activity, besides holding drama festivals and awarding the best talent in production, set, costume, music, direction and acting and holding of playwright completion and theatre workshops. He said some of these activities had suffered interruption especially in Kashmir but with the revival of the drama festival here the periodic activities will be revived. He said the Playwright Competition and Theatre Workshop will also be held shortly.

He recalled that apart from the current 9-day long drama festival, two month long folk festival, organized by the Academy, is going on at different tourist places of Kashmir, depicting the rich folk traditions of the Valley including Bhand Paether.

Other plays to be staged during the festival include Secret Plan (June 5), Musafir (June 7), Na Maloom (June 8), Yeli Shaam Gatchhi (June 9), Nyay (June 10), Phir Thur (June 11) and Shinakhti Card (June 12).  There will be no performance on June 6.