The story of GCDC now known as GC University Dramatics
Club is very interesting.
The Club was established in 1890’s during the tenure of
Bell and Mr. Dallinger as Principal of the College. In that period
the Club mostly staged scenes from Shakespearian plays but
this was seldom of elaborate nature.
turn of the century, GCDC not only was staging English plays but
also plays in Sanskrit, Urdu and Punjabi. In 1902, the Club
performed Kali Das’s Shakuntala, the play was such a big
success that it was performed again the next year. The Club grew
steadily and in 1924 at the Golden Jubilee celebrations it presented
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The people who witnessed the play
included The British Governor of Punjab and the elite of the city.
GCDC also presented melodramas of Agha Hashr, which were very
in those days. During this time many great names were
associated with the Club which included Rafi Peer, Raja Ghazanfar
Ali Khan, Hakim Ahmad Shuja, and Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj. Imtiaz Ali
Taj’s association with GCDC was special. In those days, male
students used to perform female characters as well. Taj sahib used
to perform female roles with such perfection that no one could ever
recognize that it was a male who was performing the role. There is a
famous joke that once a male student wrote a love letter to him.
During this time students enjoyed watching college teachers
performing different roles especially female roles.
During the 1940’s the Club rapidly developed and it was
mainly due to the association of Prof. G.D Sondhi and Prof. Ahmad
Shah Bukhari Patras. Prof. Sondhi and Prof. Bukhari both staged
Hamlet and performed the role of Hamlet with perfection. The Vice
Chancellor of Punjab University at that time performed the role of
the Ghost. When Prof. Sondhi came back from England after his higher
studies he envisaged many modem innovations for GCDC.
people like Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum to translate Shakespeare’s
A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Punjabi as Suwan Raine Da Sufna. It was
performed in the College’s Open Air Theatre which was built under
his patronage. Very few people know that the Open Air Theatre at GC
and at the Lawrence Garden, now Bagh-e-Jinnah, was built under his
patronage. Prof Bukhari started acting in GCDC plays with the role
of Bheesham, which he played in Hakim Ahmad Shuja’s play. The
association of Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj and Prof. Bukhari produced some
excellent plays and this period is considered the golden period of
After partition, the glorious tradition continued and many
illustrious people have been associated with the Club which include
Prof Qayoom Jojo, Sonu Rehman, Mohammad Safdar Mir, Naeem Tahir,
Shoaib Hashmi, Rasheed Umer Thanvi, Sarmad Sehbai, Usman Peerzada,
Imran Peerzada, Prof. Khalid Masood Siddiqi, Prof Irshad Ali, Prof.
Rafiq Mahmood and many others. The Club produced plays like “Men
Without Shadows” by Sartre, Tartuffe by Moliere, Kaufman and Moss
Hart’s The Man Who came to Dinner and You can’t Take it With You.
People like Sarmad Sehbai also delved in experimental plays and
produced Dark Room. Arthur Miller’s famous play Death of a Salesman
was staged twice at GC. The nature of the play is such that even in
USA not very many people dare to stage it but both the time when it
was staged i.e. in 1973 and 2005 it was a great success. In 2005 the
Governor of Punjab General Khalid Maqbool witnessed the performance
and was immensely impressed by the professional quality of the
amateur students. In March 2005 the Club organized Ashfaq Ahmed
Drama Festival to pay tribute to the great dramatist Ashfaq Ahmed.
Five different institutions form Lahore participated in the three
day long event where GC University Dramatics Club staged Fehmida Ki
Kahani Ustani Rahat Ki Zubani. In 2006 Eugene lonesco’s Exit the
King’s Urdu translation was staged. In November 2006, the Club
performed Sawan Rome Da Sufa, an Urdu/Punjabi adaptation of
Shakespear’s A Mid Summer Nights Dream, and bagged maximum number of
awards. The awards were given in the category of Best Actor Female,
Best Actor in a Comic Role and Best Director.
The year 2007 was very
hectic and fruitful for the Club as this year GCUDC staged four
plays which included G.B Shaw’s You Never Can Tell, William
Shakespeare’s A Mid Summer Night’s Dream’s Urdu Punjabi adaptation
Sawan Rein Da Sufna, Bano Qudsia’s Amar Bail and Ashfaq Ahmed’s
Behen Bhai. The biggest achievement of the Club in 2007 was
organizing the Pakistan-India Inter Collegiate Drama Festival in
March in which three colleges of India and institutions from all the
four provinces of Pakistan participated. The event was a huge
success and was widely covered by electronic and print media of
Pakistan and India. In November 2007, on the invitation of Delhi
University, GC University, Dramatics Club’s team toured India and
performed two plays, Bano Qudsia’s Amar Bail and Ashfaq Ahmed’s
Behen Bhai at three colleges of Delhi and at India Habitat Centre.
Both the plays received excellent reviews from print and electronic
media of India. This year GCUDC is staging Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s
important feature of GC University Dramatics Club has always been
that it never seeks professional help. It provides a platform to its
students to grow and explore themselves and this particular feature
of GCUDC is unmatched.
The GCUDC Office Bearers
Main Building, GC University
Katchery Road Lahore 54000