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Ajoka Theatre launches book of selected plays

August 26, 2008


ISLAMABAD, Aug 25: The Ajoka Theatre Productions here Monday launched a book of its seven selected plays by Shahid Nadeem at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

The plays are: Teesri Dastak (The Third Knock), Barri (Acquitta), Aik Thi Nani (A Granny for all Seasons), Kala Meda Bhes (Black is my Robe), Dukhini (Women of Sorrow), Bulha and Burqavaganza.

The collection of Shahid Nadeem's plays has been published by Oxford University Press that is the first-ever collection of English translations of Pakistani plays.

Oxford University Press Managing-director Ameena Saiyid in her welcome address said that the selection of seven plays fully displayed the author's dazzling range and ability while each play is memorably distinct in both subject and treatment, but underlying the variety is a passionate concern with major social issues, especially oppression of women and the poor, and the distorting restrictions of corruption and hypocrisy.

Eminent writer Intezar Husain on the occasion presented his writings about Shahid Nadeem's contributions for theatre productions while Director General, PNCA, Naeem Tahir, and Artistic Director, Ajoka Productions, Madeeha Gauhar also spoke on the occasion.

The book launching was held in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Letters while the translators included Khalid Hassan, Tahira Naqvi and Naila Azaz and Prof Shaista Sirajuddin, chairperson of the Punjab University’s English Department, has written the foreword.

A video presentation on “A Journey through Shahid Nadeem's plays” was showcased whereas the book launching was followed by a theatrical performance titled Kala Meda Bhes, based on true incidence depicting the realities of life in regional languages and colourful culture of “Cholistan”.

Shahid Nadeem is Pakistan's foremost playwright. He has written more than 30 original plays and film adaptations as well as ten TV serials and telefilms.

He won the Masood Khadarposh award in 2005 for Bullah and has gained several other awards including the Graduate, Mussawar and Bolan awards in Pakistan and the Gursharan Singh Award for Theater Commitment in India. Born in 1947 in Kashmir, Shahid Nadeem was imprisoned in 1969, 1970 and 1978 for his writings and opposition to the military rule.

Ajoka Theater will also present their well-known play Bulhah on August 26 at the National Art Gallery, PNCA. This performance will be dedicated to ethno-musicologist Dr Adam Nayyar who died last month.—APP