Theatre for and of change
An evening in Mumbai to celebrate a year of the death of Section 377
When Shobhna Kumar, founder of Queer Ink, an online retail platform catering to Indian queer content, and theatre director Vikram Phukan started looking for queer-themed short plays, their idea was: "It is time we opened up our societal closets and invited people in," says Kumar. "This is the only way people will get to know us and lead to changes that we want." For this reason, Kumar specifies that this isn't a community event. "This is open to the mainstream so they get to know us. We collaborate with people who are not necessarily from the LGBT community."
On September 7, a year and a day since the Supreme Court struck Section 377 down, Kumar and Phukan will present six short plays. "We wanted to commission original work, but also look at existing plays," says Kumar. "Work in this area is still rather thin on the ground. In future editions, we will have an open call, and a more exhaustive commissioning and curating process in place."
The evening covers the gamut of queer sub-continental experiences. "From a lesbian couple who are driving up to watch their son graduate in Graduation Day; to a hijra poet who hopes to break into the poetry slamming circuit in Pehli Shaadi; to a Hindi interpretation of the Manuel Puig classic, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, in which a revolutionary and a government agent share a prison cell, and slowly find their defences against each other broken down. Then, there is the experimental piece, Rapunzel 2.0, which is a take on identity and body hair. Two Soldiers, as the title suggests, is about the burgeoning love story between two men in a defence academy; while Best Man's Kiss talks about a gay man, whose lover is getting married to a woman."
When: September 7; 7.30 PM
Where: Five Senses Theatre, Andheri West Entry: R300
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