Maya K. Rao’s Play: Loose Woman

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Playwright & Director: Maya Krishna Rao
Group: Vismayah, Delhi
Language: English
Duration: 1 hr 15 mins

The Play
Loose Woman is about the travels of a woman – into and out of herself. To make this show, a performer, a video & sound designer, and a singer, through a series of improvisations, ‘looked for her’ in different places, in different manifestations. The stories that emerged were given an episodic form. They each stand alone, though a loose thread connects them all. We see her at home getting ready for office and then, on a whim, stepping out of her cab and disappearing altogether. In ‘Dancer’ she discovers what it means to not walk the straight and narrow but to ‘side-step’. ‘The Line’ jolts her into the realization of how precious her own looseness really is. And so on…
She looks for, she muses, she discovers the possibilities of ‘looseness’ in her life – of new directions she can create. The very ground beneath her seems to shift when she reacts with objects and characters from the world around her. She rediscovers her own mother. Even Gandhi enters her universe.
With humour, yet serious introspection, Loose Woman has been conjured, coaxed and driven by different mediums – theatre, sound, dance and the camera. Of course, the underlying reference here is to the heavy irony in the throwaway expression ‘loose woman’, whose application is rampant in a skewed familial and social setting crafted by just one sex.
For the purposes of this show, though, she’s not loose enough….not yet!

Director’s Note
Way back in 2002, I had made a show called A Deeper Fried Jam. In trying to recreate it, I found myself veering towards this woman – the ‘loose woman’. Possibly, it’s the sign of our times – it is by looking through a woman’s gaze that we see, in sharp relief, currents and under currents at play in society. The one person who carried over from the 2002 show is Gandhi – he seems to have travelled over the years and found a firm place in the ‘loose woman’s’ universe. This performance derives in its entirety from improvisations with a guitar player and a singer. Musically too, we wanted to keep it open – traverse a range of musical references – from rock to blues to sounds closer home. For each show we change the mix of episodes, to keep her fresh and alive.

The Director & Playwright
Maya Krishna Rao is a theatre artist and teacher. Her shows range from dance-theatre to cross media collaborations to comedy. She is her own performer, writer and director. Some of her celebrated performances are, Khol Do, The Job, A Deeper Fried Jam, Heads are Meant for Walking Into and Ravanama. Walk was created in response to the horrific gang rape in a moving bus and eventual tragic death of Jyoti Singh in 2012. Her latest, Loose Woman, are explorations of the extents to which a woman can stretch and redefine herself.

The Group
Vismayah was founded in 1993 under the chairpersonship of Shri P.N. Haksar, diplomat and iconic policy maker. On a regular basis Vismayah attempts to create new theatre, drawing upon our traditions of dance, music and the other arts. Among it’s celebrated productions are Khol Do, A Deep Fried Jam, Heads are Meant for Walking Into, Are You Home, Lady Macbeth? and Ravanama. Vismayah also works in the area of education, conducting workshops for teachers and students on drama as a methodology of education. Vismayah performances have travelled to various places, both across the world and in India and have been received with critical acclaim.

Cast & Credits
Performer Maya Krishna Rao

Sound design Sumant Balakrishnan,
Video design Santana Issar
Lights Sujay Saple
Costume Pratima Pandey

Concept, Creation
& Direction Maya Krishna Rao

Contacts
Director, Vismayah
A 30 Friends Colony East
New Delhi- 110065
Ph: 011-41058951
M: +91 9818324311
E: [email protected]

 

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Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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