Afghan performers and other theater workers in the western province of Herat expressed grave concern over the fate of theater across the province, saying the art is disappearing due to limitations and political changes in the country.
Herat theater workers said that many of the theater performers have left Afghanistan and women artists are prohibited from performing.
According to the theater performers, theater is not a complete art without women artists.
“The fate of the artists who remained in Afghanistan is uncertain, the number of female artists is decreasing. We (the artists) wait for the Islamic Emirate’s efforts and programs to keep Afghan original culture alive so we can continue our program based on the government’s plans,” said Feraidoon Fakoori, head of the Theater Directorate at the Culture and Information Department of Herat.
“It is horrible to see theater dying in Herat province, where the theater has a great history across Afghanistan. I have spent 30 years and struggled for this art, and I really want it to survive and have performers to continue after me,” said Ghulam Sakhi Ghulami, an Afghan theater artist.
Meanwhile, officials at the Information and Culture Department of Herat said that no official restrictions has been announced by the Islamic Emirate to prevent performing, and the government is seeking to make guidelines to clarify its policy.
“The Islamic Emirate has not issued a statement about female artists, that females who are working in various sections including those performing as theater artists, cannot work,” said Naeemul Haq Haqqani, Head of the Information and Culture Department.
Theater productions in Herat go back at least 100 years, according to members of the community.