Despite rising cases and a constant threat of catching coronavirus, a group of theatre artists in Jammu and Kashmir braved the virus by coming forward and resuming rehearsals for plays.
Although the stage is set, the seats remain empty due to the health restrictions in wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has put a halt to all cultural gatherings including theatre.
“The reason why we have restarted theatre and cultural activities so that the creativity of the artists remain intact. The initiative to restart theatre has been taken by artists and with a view of doing something, they opted to set up an online theatre,” said Mushtaq Ali Ahmad, a theatre director.
“We would be recording these plays but we are unaware to which platform we would send it to. But the rehearsals are underway,” he added.
He further said that the theme of the plays would be focusing on the current theme of the pandemic.
“Theatre is derived from society and as currently, people are talking about the pandemic these days, we have taken the theme for the plays from the society. However, we would not only focus on COVID but other themes as well.”
While rehearsing, he said that all precautions are being taken such as performing rehearsals outdoors rather than indoors and wearing of masks has been made compulsory. But, “masks would need to come off as we would have to record the plays”.
“It feels great to be back on stage. We have even started our rehearsals as well. It is a good initiative that has been taken to restart theatre,” said Sheikh Mushtaq, a theatre artist.