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Report: Seminar on Modern Drama

Drama is a genre that seems to have originated with the advent of life, with the making of human soul, with the formation of the first mould of human body. The first drama of human existence, however, was performed with only a little cast of characters, namely Adam, Eve, and Satan (and of course, not to forget the surprise entry of the Serpent).
English drama has been a key feature of the English Department ever since. But this tradition has been revived in an absolutely innovative manner by amalgamating the extracurricular and co curricular activity in the form of a seminar conducted on Monday 25th June, 2012 in the conference room (IT department) of Lahore College for Women University, Lahore by the students of MS (English Literature) Session 2011-2013. The students did a lot of hard work for the preparation of this seminar. The relentless efforts of the in charge, Ms. Tanzeela Anbreen and the supervision of Prof. Naushaba Farooq, Director, Institute of Languages and Culture, enabled the students to prepare three extensive presentations based on the playwrights starting from the origin of Modern Drama.

The occasion was graced by the worthy Vice Chancellor, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Dr. Sabiha Mansoor and the initiative to hold this seminar was an outcome of her kind encouragement and ever available support. She expressed her thoughts and feelings about her attachment with the English Department. Other distinguished guests included some dignitaries like Ms. Shaista Sirrajuddin from Punjab University and Dr. Waseem Anwar from Forman Christian College. Other worthy guests from the University included the Deans, Directors and the Heads of Departments.

The program began with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Yusra Rehman followed by the introduction of the seminar and the presentation details. The announcement was done by  Aaisha Mumtaz. The presentations were enjoyed and appreciated by the guests and students.

The first presentation was based on Henrik Ibsen and his plays. The presenters dealt with the socio-political implications of the microcosmic world of Henrik Ibsen. The group members included Sonia Ayesha Zafar, Mudassira Makhdoom, Hira Zahid, Hira Munir and Saima Choudhry.

The second group dealt with the originator of the Theatre of the Absurd movement, highlighting the ancient existential issues put forth by Samuel Beckett in his wisely absurd masterpiece Waiting for Godot. The group members included Aaisha Mumtaz, Anam Tariq, Ramaisa Rafique, Amna Tehreem and Anila Gilani.

This led to the final presentation which was based on John Osborne, and in particular, his play, Look Back in Anger, which is also a part of the MS syllabus in LCWU. The group members included Qurratulaen, Aleena Rasheed, Sidra Jamil, Nabiha and Yusra Rehman.

In the end, the Guest Scholar, Dr. Waseem Anwar expressed his views and gave feedback on the presentations. He highlighted various interesting issues related to the modern drama and the term ‘Modern’ and its significance in particular. Ms. Farah Fatima from Gulberg College, Lahore, read a paper on Modern Drama afterwards which was thoroughly enjoyed by the guests and students.

The Seminar was followed by tea and books were presented to the guests, Deans and Directors as token of thanks from the English Department. The Seminar was very interesting and enlightening and it turned out to be a great source of information for the students of Literature.