Despite the availability of various over-the-top (OTT) platforms and the presence of cinema halls, the youth in Kashmir still relish watching theatre plays. Kashmir Kalamanch, a prominent theatre group in the valley, held a theatre play, which was joined by many people amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants presented play revolved around social problem in front of audience.

The participants followed the COVID-19 protocols of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Artiste Imran Farooq told that subjects of theatre are very different. “Commercial cinema is completely different. Our day-to-day issues are highlighted in theatre plays. It is an essential part of our culture.” Hakeem Javed, organiser of the theatre play and a renowned artiste of the valley, said theatre welcomes people.

“I have been doing theatre for the past 40-45 years. Now I want future generations to also experience the essence of theatre plays. Theatre is the only medium which informs us about our past also,” he said. Syed Imtiyaz, who also attended the play on Tuesday, said such plays are a mirror of the society. “These are not like TV, radio, or cinema. It is a live performance and there is no retake.” The Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) organizes a 15-day drama festival in February to give a boost to theatre performances. Theatre was immensely popular before the advent of television and internet. The narrative of these plays generally revolved around people’s social problems.

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