Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) ASSITEJ Pakistan has been running Next Generation, a theater residency program of ASSITEJ International since past two years. We hosted two NGs in the past in Pakistan where young theater artists from 20 countries participated so far. We had planned 3rd NG in 2020, but had to call off last minute due to Covid-19 outbreak.
We are hosting an Online Next Generation Program for 2020. It brings 19 emerging artists together from 9 countries to share, exchange, learn and present. The program has a virtual showcase of projects and works, online discussion sessions, development of collaborative performances and online performance showcase.
19 young performers from 9 countries (USA, Sri Lanka, Germany, Australia, Iran, Philippine, Namibia, Russia, Pakistan) are working together as part of the Online Next Generation program.
The online program ran for 3 days from 13-15 November 2020. It has some closed sessions among the participants, and some public sessions were broadcasted live. The first live session has the short presentation of the theater for young audience projects from all participants, basically a showcase opportunity to see how theater is working in 9 different countries during Covid-19. It also offered artists to see each other’s work and think about ways to collaborate.
The second day discussion session titled “Performing Arts in Digital Space, Opportunities and Challenges” was conducted to share experience on how performance arts is evolving with increased digital access and especially during Covid-19 lockdowns in various countries. The last discussion session focused on thinking about ways to collaborate among the network for the betterment of theater for young audience.
The participants were divided into three groups, and also prepared improvised virtual performance. They prepared the performance script on Zoom and the theater pieces were performed live on Facebook.