LAHORE - The second day of Tamasha Festival, being held at Alhamra Halls of Lahore Arts Council, Mall Road, is providing great opportunity for exchange of ideas between the people here in Pakistan and the guests coming from different countries.

The thought provoking panel discussions explored the creativity to entertain and educate children. The three-day festival attracted students and people from different walks of life.

What’s Theatre for

 children?

One of the most interesting sessions was with Asaya Fujita and Sue Giles. Moderated by Sarah Zahid the discussion among panellists was remarkable. The session held at Hall No 1 highlighted the importance of theatre and arts for children.

Director of Polyglot Theatre Sue Giles said that through theatre, we achieve an opportunity to present space and time to subjective experience and nourish the child’s brain power. “The idea of ‘value for money’ is another issue how people perceive the place and power of children in our midst. We neglect our children’s physical freedoms we once had,” Sue added.

About her contribution in Pakistani theatre, she said that Australian government was supportive with regard to theatre, art and culture activities. “After this tour, I will surely request the Australian government to collaborate with Pakistani theatre and convey a message of peace between both countries,” she said.

Asaya Fujita was of the view that in Japan, the first theatre for children started about 100 years ago, and before that, there were only traditional theatre such as Kabuki, Noh, and Kyogen. “When you become an actor you cannot do mimicking you have to perform that character on the stage with full devotion to engage the audience and entertain them.

“Japanese traditional theatre which earned the public support has captured the audiences by appealing to emotions. In theatre, there are two elements, one that appeals to intelligence and the other that excites them and when these two elements are well mixed and balanced a high quality drama is created,” he added.

“Pakistan is a peaceful country and after this tour I will convey my message to all the people in Japan that Pakistan is a safe country there are no terrorist threats,” Asaya said.

Society and Drama

The session ‘Society and Drama’ highlighted the issues of theatre industry in both countries Pakistan and Korea.

The session was moderated by Azeem Hamid and the panellists were renowned writer Asghar Nadeem Syed and Seok Hong-Kim. Asghar Nadeem Syed said that theatre atmosphere and culture is linked with the open society’s development. “It is the only medium through which you can convey your message to the people all over the world.

“In most part of the world the timing of theatre plays are from 7 pm to 9 pm but in Pakistan the scenario is different the elite class visit theatre only to satisfy its taste for Mujra (stage dance) and quench for third rate taunt and indecent remarks,” he added.

“There was a time when I used to write for PTV and it was the only channel available to the people. At that time PTV had been cultivating alien culture and norms which gradually brought a change in the attitude of the youth through dramas but the dilemma today is we have forgot our traditions and norms,” he regretted.

“There was a time when classical singing dominated our music industry and today singing is all done on electronic instruments and all the youngsters are following the western traditions rather than accepting their own.”

He ended the conversation saying it will be an honour when Korea will perform with us and extend the hand of friendship.

Seok Hong-Kim said the Korean theatre is performed only in Korean language. “With the passage of time it is now gaining popularity around the world. We don’t have any Asian comedian because we have a rich culture and traditions to entertain our target audience. Korean dramas have become a source of pleasure for Asian audiences; the audience obtains a new image of Korea as a developed country. This festival is a step forward to success and I hope to visit Pakistan next year,” he told the audience.

A play about Ali Baba, a very poor woodcutter, was also staged.  The three-day festival will conclude today. Artistes from different countries including UAE, Australia, Japan, Korea and Sri Lanka, attended the fair, showing theatre, dance and music performances, storytelling sessions, panel discussions and workshops. 

The idea of the festival was to create a dialogue bringing people together at a platform where they can share ideas, developing the youth so they can take similar sorts of initiatives in the future promoting theatre performing arts in Lahore.