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Stage set for she power

The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler’s world-famous play about women discovering, celebrating and protecting their bodies as the first step towards ending violence against women, will be publicly staged for the first time in Calcutta by Poor-Box Productions, presented by Master Minds, in association with t2 on December 18. Directed by Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and her son Kaizaad Kotwal, the plays takes the GD Birla Sabhagar stage at 6pm and 8.30pm.

JAYATI BHATIA

You’ll remember her from soaps like Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Viraasat and the rib-tickling Tu Tu Main Main. You can catch her on Sasural Simar Ka on Colors. Jayati is also an Odissi dancer and a stage veteran.

SONALI SACHDEV

This orthodontist acts on stage and was seen in films like Taare Zameen Par, Rules: Pyar Ka Superhit Formula and Aashayein. On TV, she worked in Baa Bahoo Aur Baby and Kya Mast Hai Life. Sanskaar — Dharohar Apnon Ki on Colors is her latest screen outing.

DOLLY THAKORE

This theatre personality has also worked as a newscaster and TV host, and in films like Page 3 and Mittal V/S Mittal. On TV, she was part of Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa.

AVANTIKA AKERKAR

She made her stage debut in 2001 with Lunch Girls and has acted in 20 plays. She was seen in films like Loins of Punjab and The World Unseen.

MAHABANOO MODY-KOTWAL

Mahabanoo is the spirit behind the Indian production of The Vagina Monologues. You’ve seen her in films like Guzaarish, Black, Little Zizou, Buddha Mar Gaya and Merchant Ivory’s Cotton Mary.

Violence against women is a universal problem to which no region or country is immune. Theatre is an effective means to discuss these challenges, so I am very pleased to be able to attend Calcutta’s first staging of The Vagina Monologues. I hope that it will give rise to awareness, debates and solutions on how we must ultimately overcome the deep-rooted gender inequalities that either tacitly allow or actively promote violent, discriminatory practices.

—       Helen LaFave, US consul-general

I have been waiting to catch this play for a long time but it never happened during my travels. It is about time it got to the public here! I am a huge follower of Eve Ensler, whose memoir In The Body of the World I am currently reading. Her movement 1 Billion Rising can do more for women than all the UN bodies claim to be doing for women around the world.

— Urmi Basu, founder-director of NGO New Light

I liked the directors’ take on the text when I saw the play in Mumbai. The way they perform touches the heart. Dolly Thakore’s performance seems very intense to me. Another interesting aspect is the use of space. I want to see what do they do at GD Birla Sabhagar.

—       Tathagata Chowdhury, director & actor, Theatrecian

I helped a friend of mine to get this play to Calcutta. A lot of my friends are from English theatre in Bombay, so I’ve watched almost all the plays but The Vagina Monologues is something that I’ve missed out on. So I am glad it is coming to Calcutta.... I am trying to get some more plays and getting some other friends from Bombay as well to come and perform here.

— Nilanjanaa Senguptaa, producer and event manager