The many faces of Devi

Women empowerment has often been a topic of debate in India, where while on one hand, certain women are spearheading important decisions and projects in professional and personal spheres; others have gotten lost in the rut of age-old societal norms and family constrictions.

Dolly Thakore during a rehearsal of her monologue, Sati

To explore several such diverse facets of the female form, writer-director Zubin Driver has conceptualised Devi, a play that will comprise four monologues.

Zubin Driver
Zubin Driver

Devi, which aims at highlighting women issues in today’s society, will feature Dolly Thakore, Heeba Shah, Freishia Bomanbehram and Amanda Monteiro for each of these monologues. “Female energy is powerful, compelling and mystical. As a writer and director, exploring its different angles is a special journey. For me, it was a challenge, which helped me reinvent myself,” says Driver, while explaining the origins of this play.

Heeba Shah, actor, Devi

There was no, one specific message that Driver wanted to convey through Devi, but he was keen to showcase the many areas of celebration -- like unleashing the ‘devi’ within, taking control of one’s body and sexuality; re-looking at mythological notions of feminism in today’s context and much more. “The big challenge is to be relevant and understandable and yet carry the audience into a new terrain,” asserts the director.

Reflecting on his envisioning of the play, he shares, “Whether it is an oracle about the future of India, or a song from the feverish mind of a homemaker, these pieces invoke female energy in its multiple forms. Provocative, fascinating and memorable, each piece will etch its own special space in the audience’s mind.”

Being careful not to foray into the ‘preachy’ zone, he maintains, “if you believe in being engaging, entertaining and provoking, then you are less preachy -- being pedantic is a trap, and we try our best not to fall into it.”

The monologues

>> Sati -- enacted by Dolly Thakore
>> Devi -- enacted by Heeba Shah
>> The Flight of the Superpower -- enacted by Freishia Bomanbehram
>> Striptease -- enacted by Amanda Monteiro 

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