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Works by Shakespeare, King Lear at Punjabi Theatre Festival

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Stage adaptations of memorable stories by the likes of William Shakespeare, Arthur Miller and Kashmiri Lal Zakir are set to be recreated at the Punjabi theatre festival here.

The four-day festival, that begins here today looks to depict the rich and historical cultural heritage of , is a joint initiative of the government's Department of Art, Culture and Languages with Punjabi Academy and the Punjab University in Patiala.

"This is great platform to exhibit the rich cultural heritage of Punjab by opening an artistic window through theatre. The best portrayal of culture can be done through art, theatre and drama and our artists have worked really hard to bring the depiction close to reality," Rawail Singh, Secretary, Punjabi Academy said.

"Punjab has produced some great writers and poets like Khushwant Singh and Amrita Pritam and we wish to nurture fresh talent to take Punjabi art to greater heights. We hope this initiative becomes a grand success and sends the right message that we intend to," he said.

"Oh Lok jo ruke reh gai", an adaptation of Miller's "A Memory of Two Mondays" which depicts the monotony of human life, its hopelessness, is a one-act play directed by Vivek Mishra, a veteran.

The impact of this hopelessness and negativity on the human mind is also portrayed based on the writers' experience of working in a warehouse and his interaction with his co-workers.

"Karmawali: A Journey 1947," is another major play that will be the festival highlight. This adaptation of Urdu Progressive writer Kashmiri Lal Zakir's novel portraying the life of a woman on the backdrop of partition of India, has been directed by Sunita Dhir and Gurcharan Singh.

The line-up includes "Romeo and Juliet," the classic but tragic love story by William Shakespeare, directed by Partho Bandhopadhyaya, has been adapted in Punjabi.

Another Shakespearean play "King Lear" and directed by Kewal Dhaliwal is also in the schedule.

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