Theater is a multi million dollar industry the world over, with artists selling out arenas on a regular basis – events that hundreds of thousands attend to let loose, share a laugh, and just have a good time. This webinar aims to initiate a discussion on the potential of theater as a driver of joy, shaper of culture, and catalyst for socioeconomic prosperity – and to debunk myths surrounding the topic, including the notion that those who engage are fools, misfits, heretics, incompetents, etc. Theater has historically served crucial purposes, including as a tool for challenging the status quo, for bringing definition to societal values and norms, and for creating a platform upon which a variety of arts – including comedy, music, film, and storytelling – can all come together to captivate audiences that can forget about their troubles for a while. How can Pakistan facilitate its theater performers, especially in a time of disruptive digital media technologies that are reshaping the landscape?
- Introductions and background: what/who inspired you to take up theater as a career?
- What is the state of Pakistan’s theater industry, and how has it changed over the years?
- What venues are available to artists, and what does the process for setting up a show look like?
- Street theater: what are the struggles of performing in public spaces? Is the culture/infrastructure of our urban landscapes conducive for it? How can they be improved to facilitate artists?
- Audiences: how have the tastes and preferences for different kinds of theater evolved in Pakistan?
- Culture: as a society, do we enjoy theater? How can it be cultivated among the youth, and how can our education system be rethought to encourage kids to engage from a young age?
- Are certain kinds of ideas too controversial – how can that restrictive environment be changed? Are any venues sticking their necks out for writers?
- Emerging performers: what are the struggles and pitfalls faced by those entering the fray?
- What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a full time writer?
- Facilitation: do we have courses or workshops for various kinds of writing? If not, why? If so, where can they be found? Are they affordable to most?
- Universities: do student societies at universities serve to identify talent, developing it and granting it exposure to the industry? What does this process look like? (Dramaline – LUMS)
- Opportunities: what are some of the avenues available to artists for gaining exposure?
- What are some of the salient revenue streams available to performers – how have new media technologies reshaped the landscape? Streaming services, crowdfunding, foreign aid?
- How has COVID-19 disrupted the industry?
- How can a sustainable business model for artists be conceived?
- How can performers be facilitated by government agencies and think tanks like PIDE?