Maktab boasts one of the most innovative annual plays in all of Pakistan. In the past few years, we have performed plays such as Manto’s Insaaf, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Merchant of Venice, Patras Bokhari’s Anjaam Bakhair, Imtiaz Ali Taj’s Chacha Chakkan Ki Ainak and Chacha Chakkan Nay Khat Likha, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The uniqueness of dramatics at Maktab lies not merely in the range and intellectual depth of its plays, but also in ensuring that all children participate in meaningful ways. Maktab firmly believes in an inclusive policy in which the serious involvement of all children irrespective of ability is paramount. Hence the Director ensures that every child is fully engaged in the play. Since each child participates, the Annual Play is truly a school event. It is one of the highlights of the fall term.
Towards the end of the academic year, children in Grades I-IV hold their own class plays. This allows younger children to enjoy acting in a drama without the stress of a full audience. It also prepares them for their future participation in the Annual Play.
Maktab places great emphasis on encouraging all children to gain confidence by speaking in public. There is a weekly period devoted to this activity. Public speaking opportunities are provided to all grades and all children. This year-round activity helps young children gain confidence in public speaking.
From Grade IV onwards, children can participate in inter-house competitions. The inter-house contests include Urdu poetry recitation, Urdu speech, Urdu debating, English poetry recitation, English speech, and English debating competitions.
A range of other public speaking opportunities also arise when Maktab celebrates the birth of various renowned personalities such as Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Muhammad Iqbal, Mirza Ghalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Saadat Hasan Manto, and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. Such public speaking opportunities have the additional benefit of exposing children to history and to high-quality literature.
Pakistan has a rich and diverse cultural history. It has the distinction that two of the greatest modern singers of Indian classical music: Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Roshan Ara Begum belonged to Pakistan. Lahore has been a major world city for at least a thousand years and has been a significant cultural centre throughout this time. The music programme at Maktab builds on this unparalleled legacy. The children are exposed to playing instruments such as the tabla and the harmonium from Grade IV onwards. Younger children learn to sing using age-appropriate poetry. During celebrations of world-renowned poets such as Ghalib, Iqbal or Faiz, children not only sing their poems but also play the accompanying music. This fusion of timeless poetry and classical music leaves a lasting impression on all children.