Dramanon Presents Akshayambara
The play explores the representation of the feminine within the male-dominated practice of Yakshagana. What happens when a woman enters the professional space of a form performed by men for the last 800 years? Drawing from research and personal experience, the performance imagines a reversal of roles in the popular Yakshagana plot of Draupadi Vastrapaharana. A male artist in streevesha plays the virtuous Draupadi and espouses the cause of a woman, while in a tradition defying move, a woman is cast as the Pradhana Purusha vesha of a Kaurava who is driven by lust and power. What happens to the interpretation of gender when a man plays the streevesha and the purusha vesha is played by a woman? Who is the real woman and who is the real man? When tradition can accept a man as a streevesha can that same tradition accept a woman as a purushavesha?
This project is made possible by a grant from India Foundation for the Arts with part support from Voltas Limited.