Wednesday, February 6, 2008

People's Resistance Street Theatre in Karachi


Yesterday (Feb.5th, Tuesday), the street theatre group of PR did three chilling performances on sea view. It was an 8 minutes long theatre which highlighted the plight of a poor household, where a 'chowkidaar' takes absolute control by promising 'khushhaali' to its inhabitants. Instead of their situation getting any better, the family is fed-up by the chowkidaar's demands for security measures in their home. Finally, complete chaos takes place as the situation of the family and of society in general goes from bad to worst. During the pandemonium, the narrator stops everyone and interacts with the crowd.

A lot of different and interesting views were exchanged with people on the beach. However, probably because of my green army cap and crude punjabi-accented portrayal of the 'chowkidaar', people immediately answered Musharaff as the main culprit for the family's plight. When asked what could be the solution for the household's problems, many people simply suggested the removal of the army from civilian affairs, while others stated that all of us have to work together for the nation's betterment.

The theatre ended with the actors and people from the crowd moving in a tight circle and shoving off the 'chowkidaar', who tries to break into them shouting 'main khushhaali lay kar hi aaon ga!' 'main ghar ki behtari karon ga!' People who joined us in this circle in all three performances were really happy to be a part of the solution.

We would like to thank the handful of PR people who showed up. It was disheartening to see that they were less in number than my own personal friends.

We must all thank Abira for providing her house for the past whole week for our theatre training. I would personally like to thank Mr. Shahid Shafaat, our theatre guru, without whose dedication and training none of this would be possible. Please if everyone can send him a thank you note on his email address:, its the least we can do to appreciate his commitment. Finally, PR theatre group would not have even gathered if it wasn't for Ambreen's efforts. She has done a great job of coordinating and motivating everyone interested to participate. Great work Ambreen!

We have tentatively planned to perform again on Sunday Feb.9th, obviously keeping in mind everyone's availability and the current political situation.

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