A 17-member team of Ajoka Theatre left for the US to perform its acclaimed play, Dara.
A press release says the team will perform the play at the memorial hall of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on March 2.
The team, led by Ajoka’s executive director and writer Shahid Nadeem, includes Nirvaan Nadeem, Usman Raj, Sohail Tariq, Uzma Kharal, Nayab Faiza, Muhammad Qaiser, Talha Akhtar and Furqan Majeed.
The play revolves around the political and ideological conflict between Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh and it has been widely performed in Pakistan and India. The play will be performed in Urdu with English supertitles.
"Ajoka Theatre is taking Dara Shikoh’s eternal message of peace, goodwill, tolerance and religious harmony to the United States as it’s the most appropriate time to spread it across the continents." — Ajoka's executive director Shahid Nadeem
Before his departure, Shahid Nadeem said Ajoka Theatre was taking Dara Shikoh’s eternal message of peace, goodwill, tolerance and religious harmony to the United States as it’s the most appropriate time to spread it across the continents. He said Ajoka would perform in the United States for second time as it had staged Amrika Chalo, a political satire on US-Pakistan relation in 2015 at the Davis Performing Arts Centre, Georgetown University, Washington.
An English adaptation of Dara was produced by the National Theatre of the UK in 2015, which was crowned with British’s prestigious Eastern Eye award in May 2016. It had 36 shows in Lyttelton Theatre London where it received standing ovations.
Ajoka’s performance is part of the festival, “Sacred/Secular: A Sufi Journey,” an exploration of Sufism as a spiritual and cultural lens into Islam through the work of performers from four Muslim-majority countries, namely Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and Senegal.
Originally published in Dawn, March 1st, 2017