True stories on stage
Kalyani Hiwale's A Kind Of A True Story is a musical that talks about the lives of eight characters, their struggle and the celebration of life in the city of dreams
They say the journey is more important than the destination. That’s exactly what theatre director, Kalyani Hiwale, must have thought when she conceived the idea for A Kind Of A True Story.
Hiwale didn’t really start with the content but visualised certain characters in her head. This, she says helped her give shape to the content of the play later.
“I knew that I wanted to work on a musical, but not the Broadway kind. There were characters who had been living in my head for a long time that I needed to bring out. So finally after four years of being absolutely content with motherhood and teaching dramatics in schools, I decided to direct a play,” she says.
The musical will have four songs by Vinayak Netke and Sabiha Khan that help in subtly defining the characters. It also features theatre artistes such as Rahul Bagga, B Gauri and Asif Ali Beg. The play, which debuts at Prithvi Theatre on July 23, is based on the lives of eight people, their hardships and struggles in Mumbai. “Though there are certain central characters, I wanted them to connect to one single problem — the survival instinct in a city like Mumbai. In a way, it is not about the struggle but also about the celebration of all hardships and uncertainties in life,” she explains.
As the play began with just an idea, a theatre workshop was organised in May this year to get the characters used to the original thought. It was only in June that writer B Gauri and co-writer Rahul Bagga, with the help of some real-life incidents, drafted the script for the play. Hiwale elaborates, “Rahul asked all the eight characters to write about certain incidents and emotions from their own lives. This really helped in adding a personal touch to the play.”
Due to the lack of funds, the team had uploaded a short promotional video of the play on Wishberry.com (a crowd-funding site), which helped them gather funds for the play. “ We didn’t really have money, so we decided to gather money through crowd-sourcing. There were donors from Honk Kong, Singapore and Dubai who happily sent in 1000 $ for our initiative. These are the people who will probably never see the play but donated just because they believed in us. It is heartwarming.”
Now that the play is all set to debut, Hiwale is more than excited, “It’s wonderful how a small thought can yield something so intense. I am very lucky to have found the right cast for the play who stayed with me even while I was not clear about the idea. I think it is the magic of directing a play. It is all a process. Theatre has to keep moving forward, it can never stop,” she concludes.
When: July 23-24, 6.00 pm
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu