The Ajoka theatre takes part once again in the NAPA festival
The Ajoka theatre takes part once again in the NAPA festival

The NAPA International theatre and music festival 2018 kicks off today.

Starting tonight, the festival runs till March 31. While 2017's festival had 24 performances, 2018's 17-day festival makes sure to highlight the 'International' in its title, with performances from across the globe outnumbering local shows.

The schedule for the festival
The schedule for the festival

All plays take place at the Zia Mohyeddin theatre at 8pm.

Here's why we're looking forward to NAPA's festival;

1) The festival opens with a dance performance based solely on the sitar

The NAPA International theatre and music festival opens with a classical dance performance by Nahid Siddiqui. The dancer will be accompanied by sitar maestro Nafees Ahmed and that's it!

Yeap! A solo sitar performance with dance and we can't wait to see how the show takes place.

2) 10 countries take part this year

Mian Biwi Aur Wagah comes from UAE
Mian Biwi Aur Wagah comes from UAE

Including Pakistan, we have 10 countries taking part in NAPA's festival, making it the biggest international festival to date.

Apart from countries like Germany and England making their return, we have many new entries like Egypt, Czech Republic and Iran.

3) Palestine collaborates with Pakistan for an original play

Pakistan is taking part in three theatre collaborations and one music performance this year. The music performance is with USA while in theatre, one is with Germany, one is with Germany and Switzerland and one is with Palestine.

We're fascinated by the collaboration with Palestine because not only are the two countries working together on a play, they're making an original. Palestinian thespian Nabeel Al Raee, who was a part of the Freedom Theatre troupe that came last year, is returning with three actors from Palestine and working with three actors from Pakistan. Together, they are creating Power of Narrative, a play on identity.

4) The local plays offer diversity

Play 'Soch' by Bazelah Mustafa
Play 'Soch' by Bazelah Mustafa

NAPA has made sure to curate their festival to be as inclusive as possible. While there are fewer local plays than international ones, each play offers something new.

The festival has a performance by the Ajoka theatre, a Sindhi play and also an original selected from NAPA's scriptwriting workshop.

5) The finale is the biggest orchestra performance

La Koi Naghma Koi Saut is the festival's grand finale
La Koi Naghma Koi Saut is the festival's grand finale

La Koi Naghma Koi Saut is the grand finale of the NAPA International theatre and music festival. The musical performance will be helmed by Nafees Ahmed and we kind of love that the maestro is opening and closing the festival.

The finale will be an orchestral performance not only featuring veterans and seasoned musicians from NAPA but will consist of a 25-piece orchestra. Hey, we told you it'll be grand!

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