On the World Theatre Day, Kashmiri artists pledged to take the theatre movement ahead and bring more and more youngsters onboard to set the stage right.
"We are witnessing a massive downfall of the theatre in Kashmir," prominent theatre director and writer, NisarNaseem told Greater Kashmir. "Nothing is lost. We can still take this movement to its peak and work for popularizing theatre and dramas at the grass root level."
He said generations had gone by, and post-1990 the situation for emergence of theatre in Kashmir looks bleak and depressing.
"However, we need to come together and do remarkable work for the reemergence of theatre in our society," Naseem said.
He said that there was a need to recreate a conducive environment for the artist fraternity and the government-run cultural organisations had to organise regular technical courses for the youngsters and refreshing courses for the playwrights and the theatre actors and directors.
"We need to set the stage right. We have to have out-of-the-box ideas to bring young, innovative and creative playwrights and actors onboard," Naseem said.
Prominent Kashmiri actor, FarooqShiekh said that lack of official support drove youngsters away from the stage.
He said that over the years Kashmir witnessed massive socio-political changes that impacted the overall functioning of the theatre here.
"Theatre is oxygen for the society and it is very sad when you see theatre dying a slow death in Kashmir," he said.
Shiekh said that in Kashmir there was a greater need to introduce theatre education in school education.
"Our young generation should learn this craft from schools only," he said. "It is not necessary that every aspiring actor ends up in films or doing theatre. In developed countries theatre is done to understand their personality and their society."
Noted actor ShafiqQureshi, who has also featured in many national television serials told Greater Kashmir that post-1990 theatre almost witnessed its death.
"Kashmiri Pandits were prominently into theatre. After 1990, due their displacement, everything changed on the stage as far as theatre is concerned," Qureshi said.
Noted playwright and theater director AarshadMushtaq said that there was a need to involve the younger generation towards the craft.
"We can't afford to have robots around when we have a potential to produce creative gems," said Mushtaq, who runs a theater group 'Theater for Kashmir'.
He had started a creative initiative with children in 2012 to expose them to the creative field.
Famous theatre artist and director, Bhawani Bashir Yasir said that theatre had to be organised across Jammu and Kashmir to give it a new lease of life.
Urging the government to introduce theatre curriculum in schools, he said schools should have at least have one subject related to art and culture, especially performing arts.
Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) had organised a 15-day drama festival at Tagore Hall and Abhinav Theatre, which culminated today.
"The festival was held after a gap of two years and it was good to see artists meeting each other and sharing their stories," Editor JKAACL, Muhammad Ashraf Tak told Greater Kashmir.
He said that the JKAACL was heading towards newer heights of progress and windows were being opened through which art, culture, literature and heritage would get the required boost.