Dagh Dagh Ujala (This Stained Dawn)


IMGP2668India was partitioned in 1947, and Pakistan was carved out of it for the Muslim population of India. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims had to migrate to the areas that formed Pakistan, and almost an equal number of non-Muslims (mostly Hindus and Sikhs) had to migrate from newly established Pakistan to India. Dagh Dagh Ujala is a play based on true stories of survivors of Partition. It is an attempt to recount the experiences of common men, women, and children who suffered immensely.

The title of the play ‘Dagh Dagh Ujala’ is taken from a poem by famous Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz. The script was written by all the cast members with contributions from the producer and director of the play. Thus 13 people can take credit for the script.

It was directed by David Studwell, who, along with Producer Kathleen Mulligan, arrived from New York to help Theatre Wallay make it happen. It was an interesting experience for all – producer, director, and the team – as the two Americans did not understand Urdu.

A documentary has also been shot to capture the process of this play. That is in post-production stage now. It would take quite some time before we are able to launch it.

For more information on the play, please see the links given at the bottom of this page.


Director                                                                                David Studwell

Co-Producer and Vocal Coach                                                 Kathleen Mulligan

Co-Producer and Artistic Director                                            Fizza Hasan

Research and Creative Coordinator                                         Ammar Khalid

Research and Creative Coordinator                                         Salman Haider

Research and Creative Coordinator                                         Safeer U. Khan

The Acting Company:

Rabia Ajaib,  Hiba Ali,  Salman Haider,  Fizza Hasan, Kazim Hussain, Ammar Khalid,  Ikram Khan,  Safeer Khan,  Usman Khan,  Hishaam Muzaffar,  Rabia Pasha


Rabia Ajaib,  Hiba Ali,  Salman Haider,  Fizza Hasan, Sarah Morrisette, Kazim Hussain, Ammar Khalid,  Ikram Khan,  Safeer Khan,  Usman Khan,  Hishaam Muzaffar,  Kathleen Mulligan, Rabia Pasha, David Studwell, (the two students from workshops)

Stage Manager                                                                      Dua Absar

Costumes                                                                  Mehreen Mughal,Hira Muzaffar, Rifaqat

Set                                                                           Kazim Hussain, Iqbal Gasper, Hassan Pasha

Graphic Designs                                                                      Hassan Pasha

Props                                                                                     Zainab Hasan

Sound Design                                                                         Mustafa Hasan

Film Documentarian                                                                Ali Raza

Workshop Facilitator                                                               Sarah Morrisette

Prologue                                                                              The Acting Company


Woman at the Well                                                                 Rabia Ajaib

Interviewers                                                                          Rabia Pasha, Hishaam Muzaffar

Iftikhar Ali                                                                             Safeer U. Khan

Zainab                                                                                  Hiba Ali

Act One: Life Before                                                            The Acting Company

Act Two: Gathering Storm

The Card Player                                                                     Safeer U.Khan

Pushing Out the Army                                                            Fizza Hasan

Young Lover                                                                          Ikram U. Khan

A New Headmaster                                                                Kazim Hussain

Man on the Roof                                                                    Usman Khan

Act Three: Midnight

Packing Up                                                                            Rabia Pasha

Woman at the Well                                                                 Rabia Ajaib

My Banyan Tree                                                                     Ammar Khalid

Shielding Neighbors                                                                Usman Khan

At the Window                                                                        Kazim Hussain, Ikram U. Khan

 Act Four: Migration

On the Train                                                                           Rabia Pasha

Professor Ganesh                                                                    Ammar Khalid

Journey on Foot                                                                      Fizza Hasan

Waking Up To Madness                                                            Salman Haider

Man in the Camp                                                                     Usman Khan

House in Wazirabad (Pakistan)                                                 Hiba Ali

Act Five: Life After 

Telephone Call                                                                        Ikram Khan

The House With a Pond                                                            Fizza Hasan

A Brothers’ Reunion                                                                Hishaam Muzaffar

Letters Across the Divide                                                         Hiba Ali, Salman Haider

Burying the Hatchet                                                                Safeer U. Khan

Water from Lahore                                                                  Usman Khan

Coffee House                                                                          Rabia Pasha

Wedding Day                                                                          Rabia Ajaib

Where is Pakistan?                                                                  Hishaam Muzaffar

Voices of Partition

Urvashi Butalia comes to see the performance

A Note from Director

A Note from Producer

A Note from Artistic Director

Audiences’ Views on Dagh Dagh Ujala

Dagh Dagh Ujala in Media

The stained dawn – published in The Nation

Theatre play recounts a tarnished dawn – Published in Dawn

Theatre Wallay sets the stage for Partition sufferers – Published in Daily Times

 Theater Wallay plan to take play based on Partition stories to India – Published in Express Tribune