She Wears a Peacock Crown

Access Theater
380 Broadway, New York, NY 10013
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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Directed by: Sakti Sengupta Featuring: Taniya Sen and Gargi Mukherjee The play is a probing look into traditional South Asian culture which insists on labeling women as wife and mother but not as human beings with minds. The women in this play are imprisoned in a bigoted and discriminatory society, and they either endure the consequences to survive in it or they fight every step of the way to free themselves from it. Ultimately, these are uplifting stories about the potency and courage of women, about the sacrifices they make with their body and soul to sustain life on this earth. One story (entitled "The Breast Chronicle") is a nearly mythic tale, concerning a subaltern Brahmin woman, Jashoda. When the husband of Jashoda loses his legs in an accident, the couple and their children become dependent for their support on the Haldars, a rich but lower-caste Hindu family who employ Jashoda as a wet-nurse. In order to keep her breasts full of milk so that she can continue working as a wet-nurse, Jashoda's husband assumes the role of a "professional" father impregnating Jashoda annually; and Jashoda becomes a "professional mother" and a "milk-cow", and "sells" her surplus milk to the Haldar family to earn her livelihood. Eventually, Jashoda is deified and then, is ruined by the traditionally honored aspects of motherhood. In the other story (entitled "The Journey"), a young woman and a dying older woman perform a strange ritual today like every other day they meet -- the younger woman reads aloud the diary of the older woman who once dared to expose the hypocrisy of tradition. The older woman, like every other day, gets lost in memory listening to it. But, something different happens today -- today the younger woman experiences an epiphany. The play is adapted for the stage (by Taniya Sen and Sakti Sengupta) from short stories by the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Magsaysay award for Literature (Asian equivalent of the Nobel prize) winner Mahasweta Devi. Schedule Sat. Aug. 13 @ 3:45 PM Fri. Aug. 19 @ 8:45 PM Sat. Aug. 20 @ 12:00 PM Sun. Aug. 21 @ 7:00 PM Tue. Aug. 23 @ 3:00 PM Wed. Aug. 24 @ 6:45 PM

Visit the She Wears a Peacock Crown website:

http://www.FringeNYC.org