Decline in theatre activities in Herat worries artists

HERAT (TOLOnews): A group of Herat theater artists expressed their concerns over a decline in their activities as they marked World Theatre Day.
They said that many artists have left the country over economic problems and restrictions on their activities. “Unfortunately, we are commemorating this day at a time when the majority of our artists are disappointed and have left the country, and the field of employment has been taken away from them,” said Fraidoon Fakuri, head of Herat theatre.
“Let the theatre thrive and stay alive. My dream is to have a theatre hall,” said artist Nematullah Hosseinzada.
According to artists, another major issue facing theatre activities in Herat is reported the prohibition of the participation of women performers in live shows.
A veteran actor from Herat theatre, Fatima Husaini, who attended the event as a spectator, said that women artists are still not permitted to attend theatre shows. “I have worked for eighteen years and now I cannot sit at home. I have been raised with this theatre,” Husaini said.
The artists said that economic problems are hitting them hardest over the past one and a half years.
“Sadly, I see theatre activities vanishing day by day. We have forgotten arts,” said Ghulam Farooq Sarkhush, an artist.
“We have many artists and cinematographers who made films with their personal budget, but all films halted after the establishment of the Islamic Emirate,” said Mohammad Yaqoob Amini, an artist.
Head of the Information and Culture Directorate in Herat, Naeemullhaq Haqqani, said they support theatre and cinema artists in the province. He said the Ministry of Information and Culture plans to prepare a procedure for the presence of female artists in live theatre shows.
“Consultations are underway and we hope positive steps will be taken in this area. The Islamic Emirate fully supports its artists,” said Haqqani.
Herat Theatre was inaugurated 101 years ago, although it has been many years that the province lacks a theatre or a cinema hall.