KARACHI: A play titled ‘Stumped’ written by Imran Yousuf and directed by Zain Ahmed will be staged at the National Academy of Performing Arts’ in-house theatre from May 28 to June 9.

This was announced by Zain Ahmed, who is also the artistic director of the Napa Repertory Theatre, at a press conference on the academy’s premises on Friday evening. Mr Ahmed said last year Napa announced a playwriting competition for amateur writers. A decent number of entries were received out of which Imran Yousuf’s play won the first prize of Rs100,000.

The writer has worked with a newspaper and is these days in London. He will be in Karachi in the first week of June to watch the play and collect his prize.

Mr Ahmed said the team which selected the play comprised the likes of Zia Mohyeddin and Rahat Kazmi. Originally written in English, the play has been translated into Urdu by Fawad Ahmed, a Napa graduate.

Speaking about the story of the play, Mr Ahmed said it was about the game of cricket, our ‘national obsession’ which could be looked at as a meaningful metaphor. It’s set in Kabristan (a fictional place) that has a national cricket team whose captain is a person by the name of Chicu. It entails elements such as match-fixing and politics which have made it an interesting piece of theatre.

Introducing the cast, Mr Ahmed said the play had four principal and two supporting characters. Napa graduate Sunil Shankar would be seen in the role of the captain of the cricket squad, Rauf Afridi as its leading batsman, Hammad Khan as its main fast bowler and Bakhtawar Mazhar is in the fourth important role. He did not reveal Ms Mazhar’s character suggesting it had the ‘surprise’ factor.

Napa’s Arshad Mahmood praised Ms Mazhar’s acting abilities and said his colleagues at Napa regarded her as a talented performer. He also appreciated the fact that Zain Ahmed had agreed to direct a play after a long time since he was busy organising Napa events.

Mr Ahmed also informed the media that from June 13 Napa would be collaborating with a theatre group Dada Dali (which produced the play Man on a Black Horse) for a stage production titled ‘Portrait of Rumi’. He commented that the group pushed the boundaries through their experimental material. He added during Ramazan Napa was planning to have qawwali sessions for two Saturdays.

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