Friday, February 27, 2009

A Speech On Drama

Today I was to give a public speech,in a public speaking contest.I chose the topic 'Regeneration and renewal(which was the theme)of drama(the area I chose to speak about).Though I didnt win the competition,during and after the speech I realized the importance and benefits of 'drama' in a society and why we need to revive this age old yet dying out form of art.
There are numerous benefits of a drama.First of all actors,playwrights,directors and producer along with other cast and crew members can be a source of truth,order and harmony and in fact,have been so.They unlock our imagination and make us pause,think,reflect.Therefore they help us to realize the truths,and to question our preconcieved notions.
The critically important role of a drama is to enable us to see the world and human conditions differently,and in seeing the world through a particular work,to see a truth we might not have understood before.
Acttually dramas are an artistic medium which raise questions and as I said before,compel us to think.One of the examples of this point would be the plays inspired by romanticism of 19th century.The theme of such plays was to focus onspirtual which would allow the humans to transcend the limitations and physical world and body,and find the truth.Romantic movement inspired Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe to write the drama 'faust' which accentuated the human greed to master all knowledge and power with its struggle with the universe.Therefore theatre can be used to bring positivity in the life of its audience,and/or to change it's attitude towards a certain point of view.
Theatre has,and can be,used as a medium to inform the general public about the socio-political and religious events surrounding them.The theatre of 16th and 17th century Britain is a literary testimony to its religious and socio-political happenings.
Apart from that drama can be used to highlight the positive and negative traits of a society and inspire people to rise against such negativity anf work for its eradication or appreciate the positivity.In this modern era where negativity surrounds us everywhere we look,we need the revival of the art of drama more than ever.
Mainly because it will helps us,as it always has, to spark debates,or controversies which will eventually lead to debates.Such is the example of Ajoka Theatre's controversial play,in which 'hijab'(Veil worn by Muslim women)was used.Another example would include Nida Butt's 'Chicago' which infuriated the Quran thumping Mullahs,uttering Astaghfirullah while the Pakistani women wore Western dress and walked around the men on stage.
Drama can be an agent of cross-cultural exchange.In this respect we have the great examples of Rafi Pir theatre which has,through years,brought world performers on a single platform in Pakistan,through Youth Festival,thus attracting the world performers to the audience of Pakistani,and helping create a positive image of Pakistan.
Furthermore Drama helps create a faith and confidence in one's own self in the drama actors,playwrights,actors,costume designers etc.ts helps the dramatic actors in better communication skills.Understanding characters and their role and needs helps,in practical life,the actors to help understand people.
When people play roles consciously,they begin to sharpen their skills of noticing and managing their own thoughts,which helps them in character building and then life planning.This kind of reflective thinking can be cultivated and leads to greater psychological maturity and flexibility.
Lastly,I would like to point out that drama can be used to inspire change.And also it can be a medium for normalcy in a society?How?
During the time of Aristotle,the philosopher advocated the use of drama in a society on the basis of 'Catharsis' and 'purgation'.When we watch a tragedy,and even when we watch a very exciting play which either makes us cry or excites us,respectively,it helps us release us bent up emotions,which it they stay too long in us,it can turn us into a depressive,isolated and spirtually injured creature.This is called catharsis.It then helps us to purify our souls,by making us reflect upon our mistakes and achievements and our guilts and our good deeds.
I hope I have persuaded by blog readers by now that we do need the revival of drama for our youth is losing interest in this authentic artform.Maybe I havent been able to get through the competition,but the thought provoking topic that I chose has given rise,in me,for an interest in drama.


  1. I am curious to know, what is that you have in mind when you say drama can be a "source of order" or it can be "a medium for normalcy in the society." Do you mean to say that catharsis is one that help us vent our bottled up emotions and help us being better creatures?

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    You are right that 'catharsis is one that help us vent our bottled up emotions and help us being better creatures?'.
    Apparently it was advocated by Aristotle for bringing about normalcy in a society's members.
    Have ever cried,when you saw a heart breaking tragedy,and afterwards feel light at heart,like as if your mind is tension free?Or have you experienced that state,when you see a very exciting film and very appealing to you,that you start to feel high and excited at heart.
    Now that is what I am saying.
    Also,if some one has brain,he or she,when they look at MR.X in a certain drama play the role of evil M,would abstain from committing crimes such as him,if he stop showing villains as galourous dudes and something which form the weakness of humanity.
    I hope that answers your question and if it hasnt dont hesitate to go on asking.


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