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The World Trade Centre still stands tall and refugee isn’t a word loaded with terror in the play, Cloud Tectonics. Anibal, a Puerto Rican immigrant, does the decent thing by offering a lift to a pregnant woman called Celestina Del Sol on a rainy evening in Los Angeles — and soon realises that she comes from a land of magic. “Time becomes irrelevant with the entry of Celestina. Watches, the TV and radios, nothing works when she is around,” says Sohaila Kapur, who directs the off-Broadway script by Jose Rivera. The play, by Kapur’s group Katyayani, will open at Akshara Theatre on December 3.
Cloud Tectonics is an off-Broadway play that Rivera scripted after attending masterclasses in screenplay writing from the Father of Magical Realism, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. “I have been pregnant for two years,” announces Celestina. She infuses her surroundings with a magical quality and wraps the earthy in a fine mystical mesh. She looks 30 but says she is 56.
At the heart of the play is a love triangle— with Anibal and his brother, Nelson, who is a soldier in the US Army showing an interest in Celestina. “Club Tectonics also exposes the treatment given to immigrants in America, a fact that finds resonance in today’s world where, not only immigrants, but also refugees from war zones are finding it harder and harder to be accepted in the western world,” says Kapur.
Shena Gamat, Ashish Paliwal and Tarique Hasan play the trio, with the dreamlike Celestina given a flesh-and-blood treatment on stage. “She is nervous entering Anibal’s house and says, ‘I have infected you’,” says Kapur, who has populated the play with sound effects such as police sirens and the falling rain. “I am trying to have rainfall outside Akshara Theatre,” she says.
Club Tectonics will be presented at Akshara Theatre on December 3 (6 pm and 8 pm) and at Epicentre, Gurgaon, on December 5 (7.30 pm)