Besides being entertaining, performing arts are also often a vehicle for voicing social grievances. And while China isn’t particularly known for encouraging open protests, a theatre group from the country is leaving no stone unturned to make the voices of the common people heard.
A Shanghai-based group, Grass Stage Theatre, is presenting a series of monologues called Unsettling Stones. It will touch upon contemporary Chinese society, known for its rigid laws and lack of civic freedom. “We’ve tried to reflect the unspeakable conditions where we live as well as the problems that people from China face around the world. We aim to bring about some change through our work,” says Zhao Chuan, founder of the group. Unsettling Stones will also talk about the role of the media in China.
Quasar Padamsee, artistic director, Q Theatre Productions, which is hosting the performance here, says, “Chuan’s work can be termed ‘grunge theatre’ — experimental performances under the radar. That’s why it was important to bring it to Mumbai.” Though the performance is in Mandarin, the actors will transcend the language barrier by using elaborate body and facial expressions. As a precursor to the final performance, the group has begun to conduct a two-day workshop titled Creation From Body. The sessions will teach the significance of body postures in theatre.
The workshop will continue on 17 October. The performance is on October 19 at NGMA, Fort.
Call 99306 66332 for details.