Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Pakistan Actors Become Jobbers

They set up a National Theater in Pakistan in order to revive theatre in that country. All actors were paid a salary and they contributed to the productions.

Now things have changed. The Actors have stopped getting a salary, and there has been an outcry:

“We never fired any actors and this is all a rumour against RTC. Yes we have stopped their salaries, but it doesn’t mean that they are not the members of RTC. Whenever we want them to act, we will call them and pay them for their job,” NAPA Administration Officer Adnan Hussain told The News.

Hussain said that paying all the actors was useless because not all of them were contributing to the plays. “We are a non-profit government-funded academy, and we lose 0.3 to 0.4 million rupees on each play, so it was necessary for us to take some steps so that the academy could sustain itself.”

Talking about the recent funding announced by Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani for NAPA, Adnan said that although things were in progress, they had not received any money as yet as “things do not happen so fast”.

Keeping in mind all the financial losses NAPA has undergone and the lack of financial assistance they are facing, it is easy to sympathise with them. However, stopping the payment of the actors they trained in a 3 year-programme doesn’t seem to be the proper solution to this problem. Another NAPA graduate and a former RTC member, who requested anonymity, said: “For all the trained theatre graduates, this sudden step by RTC is a huge shock because a lot of us relied on RTC for our sustenance as there is hardly any scope for theatre artists in Pakistan. Ironically, working for television was always discouraged at our academy.”

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