By Ali Imran
WASHINGTON, April 14 : A Pakistani-American dramatist’s stage production, “Foreigner” has earned praise from critics and followers of the performing arts.
Written and directed by Peace Drama head Dr. Abida Waqar, the play is set in the 17th century India but deals with universal themes of love, greed for power, and racial profiling, with compassion and selfless human bonds triumphing in the end.
“I have been really impressed by the performance of all players; they are bold and thrilling,” Ms. Nina Tisara, leader of Living Legends of Alexandria and art critic, noted at the awards ceremony.
An important feature was the diverse cast that included actors of Pakistani, Indian, British, German, American, and Ghanaian origins.
Kafayat Rahmani, a literary critic and the chairman of the advisory committee of Peace Drama, also expressed appreciation for the lively demonstration of creative talent and applauded Abida Waqar’s encouragement of young talent in theater performances.
Rudaba Nasir, a Pakistani journalist, was declared the best performer. The protagonist, Huma Ahmed, who played the princess, Colin Davies, Justin Mohay, Maryyum Usmani, Younas Choudhry, Judy Williams, KiAnna Dorsey and Vikas Malhotra were also recognized for their performances.
Muhammad Akbar Ali, a middle school student, claimed the Rising Actor Award along with other young players including Mishal Rabbani and Michael Williams.
The story revolves around a princess whose parents are killed by an invading army. The princess escapes to a village, where rural people give her respect, warmth, and love. She tells them Vedic stories and teaches them devotional dances. Meanwhile, a spy implanted by the new queen pretends to be in love with her and reports her whereabouts to the new queen, who imprisons the princess. But soon the tribesmen attack the palace and restore the princess as the rightful heir.
The play has also been invited for a performance at a New York festival.