Theatre Wallay, in collaboration with Ithaca College New York, organized a training workshop for its project team working on Voices of Partition (VoP) in Islamabad from 19th January 2015 to 23rd January 2015. The workshop was aimed at equipping the team with necessary skills so that they can train university students on collecting real life first-hand stories of partition and turn them into dramatic monologues. The trainers were Fulbright scholars from USA – Kathleen Mulligan, an expert on voice and speech, and Sarah Herbert-Johnson, a practitioner of theater of the oppressed.
The participants were taught some games, techniques, and then taken through the process of recording stories, transcribing them, choosing significant moments/scenes from the stories, and turning them into dramatic monologues. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the team, and a great learning opportunity as there are very few such opportunities available to theater practitioners here in Pakistan. The team enjoyed and was surprised to discover their hidden talents. The most interesting outcome was that every member turned out to be a very good writer, as every member wrote his/her own monologue.
In the next phase, the VoP Team would be conducting the same exercise with some students of selected universities and colleges in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Faisalabad. It would bring in a lot more new stories and monologues, which would be fashioned into a theater performance. The performances are expected to be held in the last week of April in Islamabad, and in the first week of May in Lahore. Later on, the troupe would take this performance to Ithaca College, New York in September 2015.