As rising crime and rape cases dominate headlines, Poorna Jagannathan's next production (two plays) offers a perspective on sexual violence against boys. To be staged at the upcoming Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, The Tricky Part and All The Rage provide intense accounts of one young boy's horrifying encounters. The acts will be performed by the Off Broadway Theatre Award-winning American actor, Martin Moran.
He says, "I've always been drawn to India, but when I saw the sexual violence statistics, I felt an urgency to bring the plays here. Men are particularly secretive about sexual abuse."
In The Tricky Part, Moran revisits his own experience of being sexually abused by a male counselor at a boys' camp. The other play is set 30 years later, when he went to see the same man at a convalescent home.
Set to tour Delhi and Bengaluru as well, Moran's plays use humour to tackle the sensitive subject.
He says, "We need to laugh to trust one another, and sit together and talk about the tough stuff."
Actor-producer Jagannathan, who has been instrumental in bringing the acts to India, says, "Today, one in two boys in India is abused. That means half of all boys are exposed to unwanted sexual interaction. At a time when we are trying to combat sexual violence against women, we remain relatively blind to sexual violence against boys and men. I'm hoping, like Nirbhaya (a 2012 play on the Delhi gang-rape case, in which she acted), these plays too can start this difficult yet-vital conversation."
The acts will be staged on October 30 and 31 at NCPA, Nariman Point, and Prithvi House, Juhu, on November 1 and 2.
The Tricky Part
The 80-minute play deals with the author’s account of being molested at a Catholic boys’ camp.
All The Rage
A sequel to The Tricky Part, here the author talks about self-discovery, confronting the past and more.