Theatre fans have something to look forward to this month as Pulitzer-winning play, August-Osage County tours the country. “This play is new to India,” says Lillete Dubey, producer of the play. “It has been performed abroad for about four years. It has not only won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (2008), but seven Tony Awards as well. The script is both powerful and moving. It’s extremely dark and dramatic but at the same time, it’s wickedly funny.” Thirteen shows have been scheduled across six cities, with Mumbai shows scheduled on November 11 and 13.
The play explores universal themes of family: mother-daughter relationships, sibling fights and spouse conflicts. “Since we have bought the rights, we have not changed it at all. The only difference is that the original setting was in Oklahoma, while we have set it in India. Since the play is based on the antics of the Weston family, we implied that the play is set in Goa, in order to make it more real. That way, the characters’ names, clothes and dialogues will seem appropriate,” adds Dubey.
The play’s cast includes experienced actors like Suchitra Pillai, Sandhya Mridul, Amar Talwar, Kitu Gidwani, Mita Vashist, Ira Dubey, and Lillete herself. Among the newcomers are Danny Sura and Maneesh Verma. “We keep telling Danny and Maneesh that they need to try and switch positions because Maneesh is from the Hindi-speaking milieu while Danny has just moved to India from Britain. Danny thinks he doesn’t have an accent but he does. He plays the character of a police inspector, but keeps slipping into a proper British accent,” Dubey laughs.
Nevertheless, the initial runs of the play in Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore have gone smoothly. According to Suchitra, “the play was put together in a month. We literally worked on it in bits and pieces. Adds Kitu: “Now, the play’s cast is like one big family that have shared their ups and downs, and laughed a lot.”
Catch the play on November 11, at St. Andrews Auditorium, Bandra at 7:30 pm and Nov 13 at NCPA Theatre, Nariman Point, 5 pm and 8.30 pm, tickets are available at bookmyshow.com, from R 500 onwards.