I’m grateful to have been offered an opportunity to write about the international Indian hit film RRR for Contingent Magazine, whose mission statement is “history is for everyone.” They purposely waited until 15th August (India time), India’s Independence Day, to publish the article as their lead story today. What does RRR have to do with my Kolkata theatre research as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar? You’ll see. And be sure to read those footnotes.
The article begins below:
Sure, George Washington was a good war strategist, but could he pick up a motorcycle by one wheel and swing it around in battle? Or how about if Martin Luther King Jr. had busted Malcolm X out of prison by carrying him on his shoulders and dodging gunfire while hopping across rooftops, and together they took out J. Edgar Hoover? These events could not, and never did happen, but would be pretty cool to see in a big-budget historical fantasy action flick.
What a terrific evening of Bengali and English language theatre. The Kushilob theatre company in Delaware, I know from past experience, doesn’t shy away from Realist plays that address topical dilemmas and social issues, but their performance in Wilmington on on 6/19/22, part of an evening of 3 short plays in collaboration with Epic Actors’ Workshop (NJ) and Ebong TheatriX (DC) entitled “Theater in Life,” was a bold endeavor.
When I go to sleep haunted by the show I’ve seen, still turning it over in my mind, I know I’ve experienced a night of great theatre with a purpose to challenge our assumptions, not reassure us. We have Hollywood and Broadway for that. As has been said by others more elegantly over the years, I know something has truth in it if it troubles me, and all of these shows had that impact.
Evoking for me everything from Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls… and
For those US peeps who are considering applying for a Fulbright, the recording of the 5/5/22 webinar on Fulbright Opportunities in the Fine Arts is now online in case you missed it. The other scheduled guest panelist was unable to attend, so I got to talk twice as much. 😄