Theatre Wallay has recently concluded the 2nd phase of its project ‘Voices of Partition’. in the second phase, the team focused on collecting oral stories from the partition survivors. The team made great efforts to collect stories from a cross-section of society – from landless farmers to landlords, from those who migrated from Punjab to those who migrated from Bihar, from those who walked on foot to those who traveled on train, from those who migrated immediately after the announcement of the partition to those who migrated years later.
There are stories of loss, bewilderment, uprooting, loot and plunder, fears, rumors, memories, support, disintegration, separation, reunion, search for meaning, coming to terms with new realities, and so much more.
TW team traveled to many cities and villages starting from Manmohan Singh‘s village Gah (in district Chakwal) to Chiniot, Faisalabad, Gojra, Lahore, Multan and of course Rawalpindi/Islamabad. It met with highly educated and well off persons on the one hand, and people living below poverty line on the other hand.
It worked with students of various universities to extend its reach to many more people and areas. Students of LUMS, COMSATS, and QAU contributed a lot to this project. Another youth-led theater group ‘Makhotay’ extended their support in Multan.
TW team worked with these young story collectors on developing creative monologues out of the stories they had collected, and found some very promising creative writers among them. (In fact, through this project, TW found that it has more creative writers in its team than it previously knew).
In the third phase of the project, TW team would be working on script development, and rehearsals. It would conclude with performances in Islamabad and Lahore. Watch out this space for more information. Kathleen Mulligan and David Studwell have arrived from USA to mentor TW team on developing a play from these stories. We are looking forward to a wonderful play coming out of this exercise. All the best.