Why Bangalore-based Barking Dogs believe their version of The Vagina Monologues will grip Chennai
Do YOU get uncomfortable when the word ‘vagina’ is said out loud?The Vagina Monologues,by Bangalore-based theatre company, Barking Dogs, and directed by Lekha Naidu will attempt to address your inner fears and inhibitions. The play premiered in Bangalore, last year, as part of the V-Day Campaign, a global movement to end violence against women. Though it was banned in Chennai previously, the production house is confident of a full house this time at Alliance Francaise, on April 27.
This 90-minute play is a series of monologues by women from different stages of life. The monologues address sexual liberation, genital mutilation, sexual exploitation and abuse. Though The Vagina Monologues has been staged before, Naidu hopes to bring a new element to the play. All the women in it are non-actors. “What is best about our play is that it is raw and fresh. While some of our actors are students, others are office goers. We chose them after auditioning 150 women,” says Naidu, 26. Essentially an actor from Bangalore, this is her directorial debut. Though the subject is intense, Naidu insists that everyone can relate to it. “Each woman is sharing an experience, a story you can relate to. But there are a few who dislike the subject. In fact, my own family could not handle the rawness,” shares Naidu, who’d initially thought the play was not for Indians as she hadn’t seen any other version. ‘‘But I read the script and realised it is a universal story,” she says.
The path ahead
Having been in the theatre circuit for more than five years, Naidu feels performing arts in India has a bright future, what with cutting edge writing and out-of-the-box thinking. “I see a lot of experimentation happening. In Bangalore, I see a lot of people taking up theatre as a stress buster. That is good, but the quality might be at stake,” she concedes.
At Alliance Francaise, on April 27, at 3 pm, 5 pm and 7 pm. Tickets at Rs. 299. Details: indianstage.in