Analysing gender in the Indian context always has us talking about the oppressing hand of the patriarchy. Gender imposed roles also play a huge part in the discussion. The assumptions of our society, especially of women, trigger questions like – How do we stop this? What sort of ideas need to be propagated instead? Where should we start?
More often than not, we get lost in thought of the bigger picture and seem to inadvertently neglect the small, day to day conflicts and hurdles the woman has to face.
Dushyanth Gunashekhar’s new play, however, draws attention to these small, frequent struggles of women. The play, Dolls, follows the lives of ten different women narrating ten different stories. The stories are partly fiction and partly based on the experiences of the women themselves.
The director is the founder of a young and dynamic theatre group known as Crea-Shakti. We talked to the director and here is what we learnt from him –
1. Describe your experience as a male director directing an all woman cast.
It was a humbling experience which made me acknowledge my privilege of being a man in this world. It was also shocking to find out the extent of my ignorance as the nature of the stories are sum of the experiences of these actors who I’ve known for some years. I had no inkling they had had such experiences all these years which goes to show how blind I was to my own privilege.
2. What message is Dolls trying to put across?
It’s trying to put out stories of women. Messages can be interpreted however they deem fit by the audience.
3. How well did the cast adapt to your scripting and their roles?
The monologues are devised based on personal experiences so they are using lines they wrote themselves.
4. Why is there a need to talk about the day to day battles that the modern Indian women faces?
Simply because it’s not been spoken enough. Only if acknowledge that herein lies the source of bigger problems and also the true nature of what it takes to identify as a woman of today.
5. What message do you have for the men out there?
Listen more. It’ll help
Stressing on the growing need for men to sit down and listen to women, Mr. Gunashekar accentuates the problem in our society. This also goes on to say that the small things are what matter. This play portrays real stories and plunges the audience into an emotional experience. To catch more plays by Crea-Shakthi, follow them on Facebook here and check out their website here.
Image credit – Jagriti Theatre
Written by Chinmay Manoj