For the past 8 years, The Little Art has explored various art forms for the purpose of establishing a culture for learning, development and social values amongst children and youth in Pakistan. Amongst all art forms the organization believes that theatre is the most direct human form of expression and in their experience theatre plays a very important and impactful role for not only individuals but communities as well.
After years of working with students and teachers on the importance of drama and performance in education, the first time TLA has produced a theatre play especially written and performed for children. The newly established theatre program Tamasha – Theatre for young audience presented a 45 minute play “Gogi and Jugnu ka Tamasha” which was a story about a 10 year old girl who is bored as a child and encounters a mysterious friend with whom she goes on a journey of imagination.
Over a period of 3 days of the performance from 23rd to 25th September at Ali Auditorium, the halls were completely full and audience poured in hundreds on all days, curious children tagging their families along to watch the colorful performance. Nearly 1500 hundred audiences attended the shows in 3-days run.
The production was approached with contemporary techniques of video projections and movements to along with the theme around the experience of cinema. The idea behind the play was to change the culture where adults only perform for adults and that adults can also perform for children, hence the play was performed by two adults Uzma Ali as Gogi and Umair Mushtaq as Jugnu in the role of 10 year old children.
The play was conceptualized by Shoaib Iqbal, founder of The Little Art. It was based on his childhood experience of going to a cinema for the very first time. The play was written by Imran Mushter Nafees and Hasham Nasir.
During the performance there was an overwhelming and interactive response from the children who had uncontrollable laughter and giggles throughout and they were in awe of the video projections that looked like something out of a fantasy.
A 10 year old girl after the play said;
“I got to know that our adults enjoy life in their own way and we children enjoy in our own way and today I really enjoyed together with my family. It was a very colorful play and really funny”
A spectator Saba Hassan said
“It was worth every minute and even the non theatre loving friends I had dragged along with me found the play very entertaining! The lead roles were perfect, the sound track exceptional and the animation uniquely eye catching. Being a huge supporter of theatre in Pakistan, yours was a breath of fresh air and a very strong reminder to all the adults like us to relax and let the inner child out. Hope to see more plays from your team soon and though it was free I definitely would not mind paying for art. Our people need to realize the value of it”
Second day of the event was graced by known playwright and TLA supporter Asghar Nadeem Syed.
“I am so happy to see this art form evolve to cater to children, there is far less original and local content being made for kids and I commend The Little Art on realizing its importance and taking actions to bring more valuable content for children in Pakistan”
The special guest at the third day of performance was known performer of dance and theatre, Ms. Nighat Chaudhry.
“ Dance, theatre and any kind of performative art form is really important for children to experience in their lives, it enriches their creative mind and helps them develop fully as they grow up. Theatre has that power to not only develop children on a cognitive level but also strongly involves them on the emotional level and this is why performance and theatre has a huge impact on making us human”
Tamasha – Theatre for young audience will be conceiving a larger landscape of theatre for children and youth with establishing a new chapter of ASSITEJ Pakistan, an international organization to promote theater for children and young people globally.
“I am grateful for the support in this project by Royal Danish Embassy and CKU Denmark in helping us take this dream project forward, along with Institute of Performing Arts, Faiz Ghar and The Last Word. A big thanks for volunteers who helped make this all successful in the end. In my opinion, we become what we experience, so TLA aims to create as many meaningful experiences as it can for children and youth in Pakistan.”
said Shoaib Iqbal, Director The Little Art
The Tamasha – Theatre for Young Audience team includes;
Zeeshan Naveed – Production Manager
Ramis Abbas-Production Asst
Music and Background score –Lala Ahsan
Video and Still –Fazal Ahmad
Publicity – Awais Shafiq & Omar Ijaz Khan
Media and PR – Sahar Uzair Ahmad
Production campaign – Affan Alam