NAPA welcomes collaborations with a variety of organizations
- Schools and Universities: Extracurricular programmes, trainings and lectures for students.
- Cultural Organisations: Programmatic collaborations with museums, libraries, archives.
- Art Organisations: Join events and exhibitions.
- Non-profits: Partnering on community and educational programmes.
Through joint performances, workshops and exchange of ideas, NAPA helps bridge cultures and exchange ideas. NAPA works with foreign missions and organizations in Pakistan to stage collaborative projects.
Through outreach programs at universities and in communities around the city, NAPA aims to educate, engage and empower youth by providing access to enrich art on culturally relevant themes. The National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) arranges outreach programmes in Karachi and Khairpur in collaboration with Society for Music and Repertory Theatre (SMART) and NAPA Repertory Theatre. The objectives of the outreach programmes are closely aligned with NAPA’s mission, mandate and vision. Our aim is to provide dramatic and musical education to the youth of the country and create a society that values the arts and the artistes who preserve the culture and heritage of this country. The programmes are designed to address social vulnerabilities and increase social resilience. We want to promote understanding and acceptance of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions within the youth of our country. With this programme, we aim to create unique spaces for diverse opinions and create empathy, a safe space, and a sense of belongingness for everyone involved. The outreach programmes also teaches students the inner workings of the performing arts via trainings, workshops, and performances. These programmes are neccessary to foster and guide the creative expression of our country’s youth. The programmes create space for safe and respectable dialogue that enhances the exploration and tolerance of dissenting thoughts. They also help the youth develop self-discipline, self-esteem, confidence, and teamwork skills. Even though we had a successful 2019 in terms of outreach efforts, 2020 turned out to be a challenging year due to COVID-19 crisis. We had to stop all outreach activities when the universities were forced to close due to the countrywide lockdown. This could have been a huge setback, but we quickly resorted to online classes and outreach efforts to keep the programmes running. Moving the activities online led us to face several logistical issues, such as reorganizing and reshuffling multiple classes, poor connectivity, developing enthusiastic student engagement, and reviewing training methods. Some of the students even dropped out of the project activities due to various reasons, including connectivity issues, clash with ongoing online academic classes, and non-conducive home environment. NAPA is proud of its trainers who were able to maintain the interest of the remaining students and deliver successful training sessions that resulted in students putting on some worth-watching performances.
Outreach Programmes in Universities in Karachi:
NAPA worked with SMART to promote peace-building activities within five universities and educational institutes in Karachi – Karachi University, Newports Institute of Economics and Communication, Sir Syed University, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), and Usman Institute of Technology. We commenced the outreach programmes in these universities with successful orientation sessions. NAPA introduced the project to the students and eased them into the programme with improvisational, reflection-based activities focused on the importance of listening. We then conducted in-person training sessions for students. However, due to the pandemic, we couldn’t continue with in-person training and had to conduct the remaining sessions online. These sessions focused on honing the acting craft of students and teaching them the art of script development and shooting scenes on camera. They also included discussions on societal issues. In the middle of the year, NAPA held two celebrity sessions for each university. These popular sessions were conducted by the likes of Mr. Arshad Mahmud, Fawad Khan, Hajra Yameen, Nazar-ul-Hassan, Sunil Shankar, Paras Masroor, and Kaif Ghaznavi. They addressed the crucial role of drama in bringing social change in the society. We also held online scriptwriting workshops for students from these five universities. These workshops focused on the fundamentals of scriptwriting, such as a theme, plot, conflict, and conflict resolution. NAPA also conducted separate theatre direction and production workshops for students. These workshops highlighted the importance and appropriate use of stagecraft, lighting, props, costumes and scenery Lastly, we conducted a marketing workshop in the latter half of the year. This workshop highlighted the importance of marketing in the success of a dramatic production. We discussed different marketing and promotional media, including social media and printed material.
Outreach Programme in Khairpur:
For our outreach programme in Khairpur, we chose Shah Abdul Latif University. We started the year with an orientation session that introduced SMART-NAPA to university students. Our trainers and Mr. Arshad Mahmud visited Khairpur to conduct a session at the university premises. The orientation highlighted the importance of theatre and its role in encapsulating and enriching the art and culture of a society. After the success of the orientation, SMART-NAPA started training sessions in Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur. We were overjoyed to see the interest of the students. Unfortunately the COVID- 19 pandemic forced us to resort to online training sessions, which led to a decrease in the number of students attending the sessions. Our trainers worked with the remaining students and divided them into smaller groups. We also conducted in-person and online training sessions for Dastangoi that included topics such as diction, storytelling techniques, vocabulary, social change and tolerance. NAPA also conducted in-person and online music classes for the students of Shah Abdul Latif University. The sessions were designed to nurture musical technique to the students and drive home the importance of music as an agent of change in our society. The online sessions were not as successful as in-person sessions due to connectivity issues. After the sessions, we held an audition at the University campus in June. Students interested in drama were given monologues that they presented in front of teachers. The students were judged on the basis of their confidence, voice, diction, and musical skills. We also conducted three online celebrity sessions for the students. Nazar ul Hassan, in the first session discussed the art of storytelling, difference between TV and theatre, and the qualities of an artist. Nigel Bobby, in the second sessions, highlighted the importance of traditional and folk music and how music can connect you to your culture. Meesam Naqvi, the guest for the third session, discussed the importance of theatrical performances in modernizing society and changing people’s perception while promoting peace and harmony. NAPA also arranged an online scriptwriting workshop for students. Nazar ul Hassan discussed the necessary tools and techniques required to write compelling scripts and detailed the importance of reading books to enhance one’s knowledge. We also conducted an online music workshop with Nigel Bobby, who shared his own struggle. Additionally, we trained students in the fundamentals of music and introduced them to song production and song writing processes. NAPA also conducted an online production workshop with Meesam Naqvi, who trained students in the fundamentals of production and introduced them to the production process systematically. Throughout the outreach programme, we conducted multiple engagement sessions that allowed the students to voice their concerns, misgivings, ideas, and experiences. These online session enabled the students to give detailed feedback on the programme, sessions and training. These sessions followed successful sense of question and answers. One of the significant challenges faced by our trainers and project staff in Khairpur was the students lack of exposure to theatrical activities. They were not acquainted with many of the concepts that the trainers had planned to share with them. To combat this challenge, we arranged for 22 students to visit NAPA International Performing Arts Festival in March. It proved to be a turning point as the students developed a basic understanding and appreciation of theatre arts.
Online Performances On Social Media:
In the past, NAPA has actively engaged its youth in peace-building activities through live theatre, music, and dastangoi. We had planned to build on that success in 2020 as well. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink our strategy and we explored options to bring the drama to you via remote performances. Seeking solace in digital theatre as a last resort, students from universities in Karachi and Khairpur put up some interesting performances rooted in the exploration of the cultural, social, and structural conditions in our society that often generate conflict resulting in deadly consequences. These stories and performances highlighted the intolerance, injustice and iniquity, that plagues our society today. After rigorous trainings, the students enrolled in our outreach programmes developed these stories and put up online performances in September. These performances were viewed by 1900 people. They included short plays and monologues that explored key issues, such as honour killing, religious intolerance and extremism, caste differences, ethnic differences, etc. Students of KU performed engaging plays like ‘Dehshat’, ‘Fironiyat’, ‘Daur e Waba’, ‘Paka Mat’, ‘Mera Haq’. These plays explored difficult themes, such as land grabbing, the effects of COVID-19 and breaking stereotypes. IBA students put up two strong plays – ‘Me and My Wife’ and ‘Small Conversation’ with ‘Big Problem‘. The former dealt with the complex, almost impossible decision of choosing one life over the other, while the latter delved into the inherent problems rooted in the marriage selection process and the unfair treatment of women. The students at SSUET put up a play titled ‘Hum Sub Compromise Karte Hain’ based on seven varied skits that explored different societal issues. The students of UIT performed two plays-Inter-Caste Marriage and Religious Intolerance. Newports’ students also performed a play titled ‘Intikhab Ka Haq Sub Ke Liye’ that shed light on the importance of giving an equal right of education to girls in our society. They also performed a memorable monologue titled ‘Insaniyat’ highlighting humanitarian values and religious intolerances. Students from Shah Abdul Latif University in Khairpur also put up online performances witnessed by 1153 members of the public. They presented short plays and musical performances that showcased their skills and the efforts and hard work they exhibited in the outreach sessions.