Ajoka Theatre: Dara | UNC Campus: Memorial Hall | Stage | Indy Week
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Ajoka Theatre: Dara 

When: Thu., March 2, 7:30 p.m. 2017
Price: $10-20

Why should modern-day Americans care about a 450-year-old tale of warring princes on the Indian subcontinent? Because when the sons of the man who built the Taj Mahal fought for control of the Mughal Empire, the future of Islam stood at a crossroad as well. Dara was a Sufi, a poet, a painter, and a scholar of comparative religion. As a Salafi fundamentalist who opposed the cultural pluralism that had helped the empire thrive, Aurangzeb was "the role model and prototype of the present-day Taliban," playwright Shaheed Nadeem noted in a 2015 interview. "He is still regarded by Islamic extremists as an icon. In the history books in Pakistan, it is the Aurangzeb version of history which is projected and Dara has been relegated to a footnote." Pakistan's Ajoka Theatre, a not-for-profit company concerned with social criticism through theater, brings its exploration of the roots of our modern struggle with religious intransigence to Chapel Hill. —Byron Woods

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