A scene from the play
Filmmaker and theatrician Pawan Kumar has portrayed his innermost thoughts through the play 'The Woman in Me'. This play will be staged at the 'Deccan Herald Theatre Festival', curated by Sandbox Collective, on December 9, 7 pm at MLR Convention Centre. The cast also has Salmin Sheriff in it.
Pawan is all excited about the performance. "The team and I have been working hard on the play and I think we will do good. I am bringing back the play after 10 years and it is a big change from then. The play has hard-hitting content and after so many years, I keep wondering about what made me write the play then," he says.
Pawan points out that working with Salmin Sheriff was a different ballgame. "My first run of the play
was with someone who was younger to me. Salmin is a veteran actor and has seen more in life. When I started working with him, the text meant something else right then," he elaborates.
The play intends to explore 'what women mean to men and what men mean to women' and the contemporary experiences made Pawan read the lines quite differently, compared to the past.
"The play questions what men do. It's not somebody outside who is asking these questions but the women component inside themselves. When I read the play, some lines reminded me of incidents from my own life and made me think of what I had done too," he says.
What was shocking for Pawan was that a play he had written 10 years ago is more relevant now. "In these many years, nothing has changed. Things have only gotten worse," he says.
The play has been edited and worked around in today's context, which was an interesting experience for both Pawan and Salmin. "I am more sensitive to certain details now," he adds.
Salmin observes, "Some of the factors that determine if I want to work on a play are things like agreeing on the subject and how the playwright reacts to changes. Things have changed including opinions about certain aspects of this play and we worked on the script accordingly."
The subject showcases the reality of men taking women for granted, Salmin points out.
"The play reflects the patriarchal component initially and later on how the protagonist's other voice inside him questions him. I liked the way the play is structured. That's what attracted me to it," he says.
"The play was more like a therapy," says Pawan on directing it.
"Take the '#MeToo' campaign for instance. Women can keep saying 'Me Too', but what is the whole point unless men own up their actions. I read somewhere that the healing happens when the perpetrator admits to the wrongdoing," says Salmin.
Tickets to 'The Woman in Me' are available on www.bookmyshow.com