By Ali Usman
LAHORE: Street theatre is probably the oldest form of theatre that exists. Majority of the current forms of performing arts stem from centuries-old street performances. One of the most unique aspects of this unpaid form of theatre is its socio-political intentions. Street theatre provides an opportunity to common people, who cannot afford to go to actual theatres, to enjoy performances without paying anything.
Street theatre is deeply rooted in Pakistan. What sets it apart from commercial theatre is that it addresses people directly. This form of theatre has long been used to create awareness among the masses about social and political issues and events around them, calling them to voice their beliefs.
Aimed at reviving street theatre, a group of students is working on a project to provide cost effective means of entertainment and education to underprivileged people in their communities, Daily Times has learnt. Entertainment Brigade is training workers to enable them to entertain their respective communities and educate people on issues that affect them the most. This will provide the targeted community a platform and a cost-effective medium for voicing its concerns, the group said.
Brainchild of four university students Ali Imran, Younas Chaudhry, Aqilur Rehman and Zohaibur Rehman, the group was initially a part of an academic project. However, it has now gone beyond the limits of an assignment and is currently training people to become street artists. Rukhsana Khan, who is associated with Punjab Theatre, is training 20 people chosen by the Entertainment Brigade from factories on the Raiwind Road. Younas Chaudhry told Daily Times that the training of the first batch of 20 workers was almost complete and they would start performing soon. “We have been talking to sponsors and have even lined up a few. Initially, we need them to fund our performances and once the training is complete, we will not need their help,” he added.