Stella Maris College (Autonomous), Chennai
13 Septmeber 2012: 7 p.m.
14 & 15 September 2012: 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Venue: M 0-1
The play was produced in 1994 through the efforts of Maunak Kural (Voicing Silence), a project of M.S. Swaminathan Research Institute. It is being staged again after a gap of 18 years. The protagonist of this play is a gypsy woman, a Kurathi, who lives a life which is in consonance with nature and is self-sufficient. She enjoys a love-life which is egalitarian. From her perspective, the epic and Puranic heroines Chandramati, Draupadi and Seetha are women who have lost their sense of identity and have been devalued. The play is staged in the Indian theatrical tradition – an amalgam of song, dance and acting – and comes to you with the vigour and energy of Tamil folk forms. A. Mangai has revived the play which was first directed by Prof Ramanujam.
· The chorus explores the context in which male/female and masculine/feminine are always seen as binaries.
· The chorus announces that this is not a rhetorical debate but the story of a Kurathi from the hills.
· The Kuravan enters looking for the Kurathi. He looks for her in the city at the ration shop, the railway station and the cinema theatre. On his way back to the forest, he laments about the Kurathi to the grass, rocks, the koel, the monkey and the river.
· The two meet. They get over their lovers’ tiff and are reconciled.
· The Kuravan asks her about the new ornaments she is wearing. The Kurathi visualizes the life of the women whose future she had prophesied – to be sold like Chandramati was, to be humiliated like Draupadi was, to be pushed into the fire out of suspicion as Seetha was – such is the terrible life awaiting women!
· As the Kurathi and the Kuravan return to the hills, they affirm that, fortunately, such a tendency to demean women is not found amongst them.
Direction: A Mangai Assistant Direction: Nayantara Nayar