Speaking up for women

Even as crimes against women are increasing by the day, there are many social groups and organisations that are working towards creating awareness about them. And as art often imitates life, theatre too is seen as a medium for the same. Over a period of two evenings, Raell Padamsee will present Women.

Now, two plays that are extremely relevant to the issues the country is facing. Both the plays — Untitled and Bitter Chocolate — have been directed by Arvind Gaur and have Lushin Dubey playing the protagonist. While Untitled has completed over 350 shows in cities in India and overseas, Bitter Chocolate has had over 75 shows.

Recalling how she came upon doing these two plays, Dubey says she was in London watching TV when she came across a stirring piece on an American born Afghani woman, who dared to go and photograph the atrocities being committed in Afghanistan, with a particular focus on the atrocities against women. “I was blown away by this woman and her courage. I swore to myself, that upon my return to India, I would do an equally stirring and powerful piece for women, addressing issues of urgency and concern. So I immediately contacted Arvind Gaur, whose dedication to theatre I salute!” says Dubey. The result — Untitled and Bitter Chocolate. “The first play Untitled examines how a woman renegotiates boundaries handed down to her over the centuries, to re-define her identity.

The second play Bitter Chocolate is based on Pinki Virani’s best seller of the same title, and is a perspective on the subject of child abuse in India — law, police, psychology, family denial, politics and so on are examined,” she explains.

In both these plays, Dubey plays over 10 characters. “In Untitled, the co-protagonists with me are puppets and I do a fair deal of ventriloquism. In Bitter Chocolate, I use the stage and screen to portray the various characters,” she says. The actress admits that it’s tougher to be a solo actor because the entire onus for the movement of the production is on your shoulders. “No one is there on stage to bail you out,” she adds. Post the plays, there will be interactive discussions with the audience and like-minded people.

“There will be non-governmental organisations, people from government sectors, psychologists and others taking part in the discussion,” says Padamsee, who adds that this is not a panel discussion and they would love it if the audience joins in. “It’s imperative that theatre is used as a tool for social change,” she adds. 

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