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Burqavaganza: A love story in the time of jihad

  • Brava Theater Center 2781 24th Street San Francisco, CA, 94110 United States (map)

Brava! For Women in the Arts and RasaNova Theatre present


by Shahid Nadeem
directed by Vidhu Singh

May 16, 2013 – June 2, 2013
Thurs, Fri, Sat at 8 PM, Sun 3 PM*
*except Sunday May 26 7 PM show

Post-show Q & A with playwright on Skype, Saturday June 1st

Burqavaganza - a love story in the time of jihad - is a sassy, provocative Bollywood extravaganza, written by Pakistan's most prolific and progressive playwright, Shahid Nadeem, co-founder of Ajoka Theatre in Lahore, Pakistan. Burqavaganza uses the burqa as a metaphor for a society that thrives on double standards and covering up the truth. The entire cast, male and female, wears a burqa. Burqavaganza goes toe to toe with the long standing obsession with the burqa, face-veil, niqab, hijab, parda - and offers a side-splitting critique on rising fundamentalism, political corruption, and the War on Terror. Banned in Pakistan by the National Arts Council in 2010, Burqavaganza is a ground breaking political satire that provokes the audience to rethink and lift the veil of prejudice, outdated values, and hypocrisy within all societies. Ajoka Theatre continues to perform the play in defiance of the ban.

Shahid Nadeem, the founder and Executive Director of Ajoka Theatre and Pakistan's leading playwright, is known for his bold and politically charged plays. He has written over 40 plays and adapted several plays which have been performed all over Pakistan and quite widely in India as well. Seven collections of his plays have been published in Urdu and Punjabi and six collections in Gurmukhi Punjabi in India.  He has been a prisoner of conscience in Pakistan on three occasions. He has worked for Amnesty International as its international campaign coordinator and communications officer in London and Hong Kong. He is also a freelance journalist and contributes cultural columns for different Pakistani newspapers. In May 2012, Shahid received the Otto Award for Political Theatre bestowed on Ajoka Theatre at a ceremony held at New York’s Castillo Theatre.