Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College Presents
KAHANI a devised piece by Irfana Majumdar and Kalamazoo College Students
April 17, 2012: Kalamazoo (Mich.) – Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College will produce KAHANI devised by guest artist director and Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Fellow Irfana Majumdar and students of Kalamazoo College.
KAHANI is the Hindi term for “story”. It will be the culminating performance of the Festival Playhouse’s “Theatre and Social Justice” themed season. The production is based loosely on the Hindi novel “Mai”, by Geetanjali Shree, award winning Hindi novelist and short story writer, as well as stories by regional women writers of the 20th century, Hindi 20th century writer Munshi Premchand, and Rabindranath Tagore, ‘national’ poet of Bengal. KAHANI will use many different methods of storytelling to explore the implicit power and hierarchical structures within the family and society.
There are ten students in the ensemble of KAHANI. Due to the devised nature of the project, the ensemble members were selected not only based on theatrical experience but also their interest in exploring and reflecting on social justice issues. The process has included a course component as well as nightly rehearsals to incorporate reading, writing, and discussion on the themes and stories, as well as the personal stories and reflections of students. The student ensemble includes senior Sam Bertken, juniors Kat Barrett and Alden Phillips, sophomore Fiona Carey, and first-years Jane Huffman, Samantha Jolly, McKenna Kring, Anya Opshinsky, Cameron Schneberger, & Joseph Westerfield.
After writing and performing KAHANI in Kalamazoo, the student ensemble will also travel to Varanasi, India for ten days this July, where they will perform KAHANI at NIRMAN, a non-profit educational organization, affiliated with the Kalamazoo College Center for International Programs, that is dedicated to civic consciousness, the arts, and international exchange. Theatre Arts Professors Ed Menta and Lanny Potts, and Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Executive Director Dr. Jaime Grant will accompany the student ensemble as well. ALL money collected at the box office will be used to help offset the costs of traveling to India.
All performances are in the Nelda K. Balch Playhouse on the Kalamazoo College campus, May 10-13, 2012. Thursday’s performance begins at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday’s performances begin at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday. ALL performances "pay what you want" in the hopes to raise more money than typical to fund the trip to India. The box office will open one hour prior to each performance to purchase tickets and it will be festival seating (first come). For more information visit www.kzoo.edu/theatre or call (269) 337-7333.