The name might give you a slight hint of what is coming your way, but believe us, it’s much more than one could think. The Zubin Driver Theatre group gave their first performance at a public venue (The Cuckoo Club, Bandra). Normally, they perform in private spaces such as people’s living rooms and community halls. The idea behind this mobile theatre is to promote theatre as genre among the non-traditional audiences. Through this initiative, they also intend to trigger the people to raise their voice on several burning social issues such as gender inequality.
The play begins with the title piece Striptease followed by three monologues namely Booby-trapped, Wings and Devi. Lopamudra Mohanty walks up to the audience as a seductive woman. Through her captivating performance, she draws the audience in an interaction where both Lopa and audience participate in her 'stripping' of bias and prejudice mindset of our society. It’s an artistically clever piece and explores several instances on how women are ruthlessly stripteased every day and the pain they go through. Lopa also performed the third monologue Devi, where she throws light on the monotonous life of a homemaker.
The first monologue Booby-trapped performed by Dolly Bose is a wonderful piece on how our physical appearances influence us in making life choices that lead us to live a meaningful life. By the end, it also helps us in understanding that it’s not that difficult for women to reach a new level of self-knowledge and be comfortable with their body. The second monologue Wings performed by Abhishikta Das is again, a performance that is worth applauding. Abhishikta effortlessly explores that beautiful and empowering moment when a woman realizes her true value and rises like a phoenix bird to create her own destiny.
The icing on the cake was the interactive session after the performance where the team engaged in a constructive and productive discussion with the audience. The audience was enthusiastic throughout the discussion. Among the audience, a 14-year-old Aarohi put forth her experience of how her teachers have a prejudiced mindset about her just because her best friend is a boy. This is the moment where we realize that plays like Striptease: The Gender Dialogues is the need of the hour and we should promote such dialogues which have the potential to ignite the change in our society.
Don’t forget to watch the play when it is staged next.
Image Credits – Zubin Driver