The Sketchathon – By Firefly Theatre

Feb 26, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Cover Story

Youth Correspondent feels proud to bring to you a direct and exclusive coverage of The Sketchathon by Firefly Theatre that commenced on the 2nd of February 2012. Firefly Theatre outdid itself by presenting its followers with a series of 20 sketches spread over 3 days in The Sketchathon.

Before I proceed further I would like to tell you what Firefly Theatre is all about. Briefly, do you remember what you saw with your own eyes more than what you might have read somewhere? Yes, I believe so. This is what Firefly Theatre is aiming for; effective learning. They write and produce their own original plays to appeal to a wider audience and make a difference.  With the help of theatre it presents drama-based workshops such as the ones held by them earlier; Don’t talk, communicate! And plays like ‘The Office’ and ‘All in the family’.  Learn more about them at http://www.fireflytheatrearts.com and follow upcoming events!

CEO Firefly Theatre Zuhaib Shaikh directed the sketches and also wrote the sketches along with Akbar Chaudry and Vaqas Salahuddin. The cast that included Akbar Chaudry, Faiza Saleem, Iqra Shaukat, Kumail M Syed, Sabiha Zia, Sannan Wastani and Zubair Tariq with the help of their Event Manager and Producer Maheen Sheikh were successful in their target of making ‘your jaws hurt from laughter’.

Some of the Sketches that were performed in The Sketchathon were titled:

  • Army of the Third Kind
  • The Misinterpreted Fireman
  • The Cell phone Convention
  • Socrates vs. Plato
  • Avengers Literally
  • The Awkward Frisker
  • Test for Chauvinists
  • Protesting Babies
  • The Bedtime Horror Story

The Sketchathon received a lot of positive feedback. As quoted by the attendees:

  • ‘Unlimited laughter! Firefly FTW’- Taha Javaid
  • ‘I attended it last night and had a wonderful time. Some bits were better than others – but all in all, well done!’- Nida Butt
  • ‘The best of the best so far!’- Wasay bin Afaq
  • ‘Amazing work, loved every minute of it!’- Waqar Zaka

Often reports include what the audience had to say about the performance, along with that we present to you the performers take on preparing for and presenting their part.

Sabiha Zia, actor: I have been a part of theatre in Karachi for about four years now and I am glad to say that I haven’t regretted a single day of it. It’s a soul fulfilling experience to be on stage and act around three walls, there being no fourth wall between myself and the audience. After weeks and months of rehearsals, I as an actor am not worried about anything else in the world but to be paid back with an echoing applause from the audience. Through theatre one meets different actors and talent which paves the way for immense learning and helps to become not only a better actor but a better being. I have been working with Firefly Theatre since their first production in 2009 and it’s always been a wonderful experience. Zuhaib Shaikh is a talented writer and director, who gives his cast plenty of liberty to build on their characters and be creative. We want to promote a theatre culture in our country and take it to new directions, to cater not only for a niche market but the masses.

Iqra Shoukat, actor: I never have the energy to drag myself to anything but classes on most days and that too only because if I miss those darn classes, I don’t get a degree. Then I started finding myself at (almost) every rehearsal for the Sketchathon, which by my standards is nothing less of an accomplishment.
I must mention that a certain side benefit was a major contributing factor as to why my time with Firefly was so enjoyable. Free food, of course. Zuhaib kept us well fed. I think something like that speaks volumes about the character of a human being. And since there has always been plenty of entertainment to go around, all of us at Firefly productions managed to stay happy and distracted from the emptiness of our otherwise meaningless lives.

Akbar Chaudry, actor: The Sketchathon is probably one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my life. I was involved with the writing, I was acting in about a dozen sketches and I got to perform stand-up comedy. It had been a while since I had written anything for stage so I was pretty excited about it. The blank page seemed daunting at first (writing comedy is deceptively difficult!) but soon things started flowing along nicely. Once the writing was completed, it was time for rehearsal. The moments that we as a team have enjoyed during rehearsals are extremely memorable and make for great stories for the grandkids! Also the experience of acting out a variety of roles, ranging from Plato to Kamran Akmal, was thoroughly satisfying. I have been associated with Firefly Theater since the very beginning. That has a lot to do with the kind of person Zuhaib Shaikh is. I sincerely confess that one could not ask for a better leader, director and friend. The journey has been exceptional.
I am extremely grateful to the team from Youth Correspondent that came to watch us perform and I express further gratitude to them for taking the time to cover our event and publish it online.

Zubair Tariq, actor: I’ve had a beautiful time working with outstanding actors, outrageously unique writers and an inspiring and imaginative director. The most attractive and thoroughly fulfilling aspect of Zuhaib Shaikh’s set up is the creative freedom all performers and writers enjoy. And of course, our lovely producer, Maheen Sheikh; who makes the experience all the more pleasant and comforting.

Faiza Saleem, actor: I am a third year LLB student at SZABIST. Apart from defending criminals in mock trials, I like to perform on stage and make people laugh. It was this passion to entertain the masses that brought me to the doorstep of Firefly Theatre. Not surprisingly, a mere discussion on their then upcoming project ‘’The Sketchathon’’ instantly won me over. I knew that the mindless comedy in the sketches was guaranteed to woo even the most uptight of an audience. Each script was brilliantly written and executed. I must admit that the individual and collective feedback that we received after our performances was just a tad overwhelming. To boot, all my co-actors were great to work with. And even better to work with were Maheen and Zuhaib who not only let us OD on their precious coffee and Prince biscuits but also allowed us to work at our own pace, without letting us slack off. To conclude, I would say that The Sketchathon was an experience and a half that has helped me learn the dynamics of theatre in a unique and rather enjoyable manner and I am already looking forward to our next performance!

Usama Ahmed Junaid, Crew member: The Sketchathon! What an experience; truly amazing working at such a fabulous platform of T2F. Every smile is essential, and if we’ve succeeded to make people smile, we’ve found our heaven on Earth. A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way, so basically it’s the team work making it successful. But honestly speaking, our team leaders; Zuhaib Shaikh and Maheen Shaikh deserve the most appreciation in bringing this team together. They are the true leaders who had the confidence to stand united, had the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of the public. The Firefly team, as the insect is described as the lightening bug, has done the same with me, the inspiration has driven me to work along with the members for future projects.

Vaqas Salahuddin, crew member: My experience of working with Firefly as a writer was like getting to know my first coach. His name was Roach Jalali. We called him Coach Roach. He had an evil brother. We once set him free. And the elation of that moment was an experience for eternity. I encountered rocks hat ruled over haystacks. And I fought the beasts of Carthage; with my little finger and my ginger spray. Such awesome was the experience as a writer, I had with Firefly. Our leader, Zuhaib had long wished to be the king of all dinosaurs and I like to think of myself as Zuhaib’s dinosaur. I would much appreciate it if you could commit an hour of your day unto the contemplation of this phrase: “deeply discounted securities.” It led me to win wars. I became totally awesome- And awesome is the special thing about us at Firefly Theatre!

To conclude, Firefly Theatre never fails to deliver. If you missed out on the event then do not be sad, there is more to come from Firefly Theatre and its team!

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