PAKISTANI THEATRE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: AJOKA’S ADAPTATION OF BERTOLT BRECHT’S PLAYS

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Dr Salma Khatoon

Abstract

Bertolt Brecht's (1898-1956) plays offer an interesting study of the conventional and modern principles of theatre. This research essay focuses on how Brecht has been interpreted in Pakistan and analyzes how Urdu and Punjabi adaptations of his works have been presented on the local stage by various Pakistani parallel theatre groups specially by Ajoka. The local theatre groups such as Ajoka, Dastak, and Lok Rahs have demonstrated that Brecht's epic theatre can be performed successfully anywhere particularly in the developing corners of the world. The article explores the local staging’s of Brecht's plays on Pakistani stage as indicative of how relevant his plays are in Pakistani context and how well they reflect the socio-political landscape of the country. His epic plays have successfully engaged the local audience in the process of social self-awareness that ultimately stimulates analysis and finally, leads to a healthy social change. The article addresses the question of how local adaptations of Brecht’s plays highlight social, political, and economic conditions of contemporary Pakistan and have developed an environment congenial for a productive debate and a thought-provoking analysis of contemporary Pakistani society.


 

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