Performance arts are a vital part of the culture within our region. Pakistan specifically has a rich and vibrant history which comprises of talented writers and performers including Saadat Hassan Manto, Anwar Maqsood and Umer Shareef. Since its inception artists have used the art of theatre to spread awareness amongst the audiences while simultaneously entertaining them. The same can be said about Court Martial, a play organized by Stage Nomad Productions.
The play was written by the acclaimed playwright Swadesh Deepak in the year 1991 and has been adapted multiple times. It can be said that the play is Deepak’s magnum opus.
The founders of Stage Nomad Productions are Irfan Anwar and Saad Qazi (who previously directed the play in IBA). Both of the aforementioned individuals are graduates from the Institute of Business Administration who gave up their corporate aspirations to start a theatre troupe. Thus, Stage Nomad Productions came into existence. The duo had previously organized the play in the Institute of Business Administration and decided to go commercial with the play after seeing the success of Court Martial at their institute. The play aims to keep alive the legacy of the Dramatic society of IBA and also includes members from the Naatak Brigade (The IBA dramatics society). It should be noted though that the cast of the play does not solely comprise of IBA students. The aim of Stage Nomad Productions is to help and enable the underprivileged through performance arts. Anwar and Qazi specifically chose Court Martial to highlight the class prejudice within the society in a military setting. This brings to the play itself.
The basic premise of the play revolves around a lower caste soldier who guns down an officer and faces trial in the court. The soldier is defended by his lawyer who defends him in spite of the fact that the convict has already pled guilty. Conversation with the Marketing manager and corporate manager of Stage Nomad Production revealed that the team faced some difficulty in bringing the play to a larger audience specifically because of its title(Watch the full conversation in the video below). Many people were skeptical about the play because of their preconceived notions that the play was a form of critique on the Pakistan military. But all of that changed when Napa came ahead in support of the play. Currently Napa alumnus Sunil Shanker is directing the play. The play will debut at the FTC auditorium on March 18 in the evening at 7:30 at a price of Rupees 1000 and will continue till March 31st. If you are a student then you can avail thirty percent discount, paying a price of only Rupees 700. You can pick up your tickets now from Vintage or BookitNow.pk . Stage Nomad Productions has already stated that if the play is successful then the team will perform it in Lahore and Islamabad after Ramzan as well.