A Woman’s Version

Inspired by the recent Delhi gang rape incident,the play Her-Story will depict various stages in a woman’s life.

Written by Parul Bajaj | Published:April 6, 2013 3:29 am

Inspired by the recent Delhi gang rape incident,the play Her-Story will depict various stages in a woman’s life.

Like every year,the Department of English and Cultural Studies ,Panjab University,set out to look for a play for this year,one that was different from what they had staged in the recent past. “The group of about 50 students couldn’t zero in on any one,” says Prof Rana Nayar of the department. As a play director,he’s kept alive the tradition of staging an annual theatre production in the department.

How they zeroed in on Her-Story also has a story behind it. The students decided to make a departure from the tradition and script a play that voiced their concerns. During the brainstorming sessions,they kept coming back to the issue of a complete lack of a woman’s perspective on things in general. “The Delhi gang rape has troubled us deeply. It has a relentless hold over our psyche — a mix of anger,hurt,helplessness and disappointment. Anything else we came up with seemed insignificant in face of what we were all trying so hard to forget. That’s when we decided to ditch our fears and confront the darker forces that assail our society. It was time to present history through Her-Story,” says Romil Grewal,the assistant director,who is also playing a part in the play.

This play is a multi-lingual docu-drama without a linear narrative. It comprises of several stories that have not been fused together. There are eight sequences,wherein various stages of a woman’s life will be presented — beginning from pre-natal stage to the final twilight of her life’s journey. The stories are independent in their own right. The setting,characters and circumstances have been structured accordingly. The themes are varied — child abuse,divorce,remarriage,female foeticide,rape,and discrimination. The main protagonist in each story has been named Mansi,but the Mansi in each story is not the same woman. She is a quintessential woman who links up the diverse range of themes.

The students have scripted all sequences,and Nayar says that it lends a unique texture to the play. Mistha,a final-year student,plays two roles — that of an orthodox mother,and a middle-aged widow. Harguneep Arora,also a part of the play’s cast,adds that Her-Story gave them an insight into how things happen and how to read between the lines.

The music,adds Nitika Sharma,is a mix of tracks that the audience can connect with,including Bollywood clips. “The music complements the mood and also adds to the comic interlude,” she adds.

Her-Story will be staged on April on 6 -7 at the English Auditorium,Panjab University,6:30pm onwards.

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