The Shehjar Children’s Theatre Group takes the stage under the HELP Foundation‘s guidance on the last Saturday of each month. These young, dynamic Kashmiris, donned in various characters, passionately address social issues within a heritage building in Ali Kadal. The plays, performed before a discerning audience, shed light on societal challenges often considered taboo.
A Heritage Hub for Social Discourse
The Shehjar Children’s Theatre Group operates from Baitul Meeras, a heritage museum managed by the HELP Foundation. The setting adds an enriching layer to their performances, bringing history and contemporary issues together. Three compelling plays have graced the stage this year, with the anticipation building for the upcoming fourth play scheduled for December 30.
Playful Advocacy in Pache Phyur
The inaugural play, “Pache Phyur,” presented in the Kashmiri language, unfolded in September. Addressing the critical issue of drug abuse, the space engaged the audience in a dialogue about a subject often shrouded in silence.
A Dramatic Insight into Drug Menace
Following suit, “Posh Colony” delves into the dark realms of drug addiction. Crafted by Jahangir Farsh, the play unfolds the poignant tale of an elderly couple grappling with the challenges of addiction in a posh colony. The narrative masterfully intertwines loneliness, addiction, and societal indifference, creating a thought-provoking experience.
Bridging Communal Gaps through Comedy
The November performance, “Phretyomut (Frightened),” written by Showkat Shehri, ingeniously addresses communal harmony between Muslims and Pandits. The play dissects misunderstandings between the communities through comedy, offering a fresh perspective on coexistence.
Theatre as a Catalyst for Change
Hakeem Javed, a distinguished theatre activist leading the initiative, emphasizes the plays’ focus on generating awareness against social evils. By utilizing theatre as a powerful medium, the Shehjar Children’s Theatre Group not only shapes the personalities of young artists but also breathes life into the theatre movement in Kashmir. The plays serve as a compelling force, encouraging positive change within society.
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