Napa’s children festival from 21st

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Zain Ahmed speaks at the press conference on Tuesday.—White Star
Zain Ahmed speaks at the press conference on Tuesday.—White Star

KARACHI: The National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) is organising a festival of theatre for children titled Bachpan Ke Rung from Sept 21 to Oct 13. This was announced by Zain Ahmed, artistic director of the academy’s Repertory Theatre, at a press conference on Tuesday.

Mr Ahmed said the stories of the plays which will be performed during the event contain elements of fairytale, Urdu literature and the lives of the kids living in the contemporary world. The intention is to introduce children to theatre and music at a young age in order to instil in them a lifelong love of the arts.

In all, he said, four plays will be put up. The first one is Chacha Chhakkan (Sept 21 and 22) directed by Zarqa Naz. It offers “a delightful look at one of the most beloved and eccentric characters in Urdu literature.”

The second is Ali Baba Chalees Chor (Sept 28 and 29) directed by Umair Rafiq. It’s a retelling of the famous old story which aims to “revive (children’s) interest in the traditional stories of our childhood and reignite the forgotten art of storytelling”.

The penultimate play is called I Am Possible (Oct 5 and 6). Its director is Zakiullah. It is an action-packed musical with superheroes and animal characters that help children understand friendship, the value of respecting elders and the importance of taking care of the environment.

The last play of the festival is Sheherbano Ki Alif Laila (Oct 12 and 13) directed by Shumaila Taj. Inspired by the classic Arabian Nights, it is “a story within a story, a tale without an end”.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019